Special Report: AVZ Minerals is laying crucial groundwork for the transport of high-grade concentrates from the Manono project to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.

Even at conservative lithium prices, AVZ’s (ASX:AVZ) advanced DRC-based Manono project looks set to be a big money-maker.

A recent scoping study yielded an exceptional, industry leading internal rate of return (IRR) of 64 per cent — even at a more conservative lithium price to reflect market changes in the last seven months.

Just as importantly, the expected capital outlay of roughly $US380m to $US400m (including a capital contingency of US$78m) makes Manono the third lowest cost lithium mine in the world and AVZ’s management believes these costs can be improved on.

AVZ recently completed a series of positive meetings with Tanzanian government agencies about the project’s current and proposed transport infrastructure requirements.

Relevant Tanzanian Government agencies are offering ‘every possible assistance’ to facilitate AVZ’s transport objectives, managing director Nigel Ferguson said.

“All of the Tanzanian Government officials that I met offered every possible assistance to facilitate the company’s objective of being able to efficiently and cost effectively transport Roche Dure concentrate via the port of Dar es Salaam,” he said.

“The company is now working towards securing formal Letters of Intent with the Tanzania Railways Corporation, Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority and Tanzania’s Export Processing Zones Authority around the movement of Roche Dure concentrate.”

Roche Dure is the central deposit at the company’s Manono lithium and tin project.

AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson with Tanzania Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Damas Ndumbaro. (Supplied)

Roche Dure dewatering ahead of schedule

Dewatering of the Roche Dure pits is also progressing faster than planned, with water levels falling by at least 75cm every 24 hours.

AVZ said this supports its belief that water in the pits is due to rainwater rather than the ground water ingress.

“It’s pleasing to see the advance in dewatering of the Roche Dure pit to allow access in the near future for further feasibility works,” Ferguson said.

“Historically, a network of surface diversion drains were established to ensure water did not flood the pits during the local wet season.

“AVZ has ensured these drains are now re-established and operational and we expect the water within the pits will be kept under control with regular pumping from a sump in the pit.”

Once the pit is fully de-watered, the company will start work on comprehensive pit wall and floor mapping.


The company has also appointed former project director of Evolution Mining’s Cowal gold project in NSW, Michael Hughes, as Manono project director.

Hughes has more than 35 years’ experience in engineering, procurement and construction in the minerals and metal market, covering all metals and minerals commodity plant design and construction in Africa, India, France and Australia.


Read more: AVZ expects early 2020 completion for Manono lithium DFS


>> Now watch: 90 Seconds With… Nigel Ferguson, AVZ Minerals




This story was developed in collaboration with AVZ Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.