AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) has further advanced its plans to develop the Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by advertising tenders for a raft of ‘pre-mining’ infrastructure packages.
The tenders – which will be awarded once AVZ makes a Final Investment Decision to mine the Manono Project – are estimated to be collectively worth about US$300 million.
The request for tenders includes:
- Process plants EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) package;
- Kabondo Dianda intermodal staging station;
- Diesel storage facilities and supply package;
- Site buildings; and
- Enterprise resource systems.
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “We will have final pricings on our various tenders back in July and August and then expect to be in a position to award these contracts, pending COVID-19 travel restrictions being lifted and a financial investment decision being reached.”
Responsible supply chain
AVZ has also obtained preliminary iTSCi membership with an application for full membership to be lodged before June 30 2020.
The company’s iTSCi membership will align its practices with OECD guidelines on 3T (tin, tantalum and tungsten) supply chain responsibilities and the American Dodd Frank Act 1502 for conflict mineral and metals supply chain management.
Tin and Tantalum represent beneficial future by-products of lithium ore processing at Manono.
AVZ has been advised it will take about two months for a full iTSCi membership to be awarded.
Ferguson added: “Obtaining iTSCi preliminary membership is also a significant milestone for the company as it is viewed favourably by international financiers as part of their overall due diligence process on the Company.
“The company will further invest in securing full membership over the coming months.”
SEZ and potential off-take deals
In February 2020, AVZ signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the DRC government for the development of a special economic zone (SEZ) in Manono. Discussions regarding this are progressing well.
Talks are also progressing with offtake parties for lithium, tin and tantalum products from Manono.
AVZ has signed non-binding MOU's with several parties to allow pricing to be refined and agreed prior to executing binding off-take agreements (which are expected within months).