AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) has met key Congolese Government agencies and legal Counsel to discuss the framework for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and potential Public Private Partnerships (PPP) being proposed for Manono region of the DRC that will benefit the Manono Lithium and Tin Project.
The discussions occurred during a two-day workshop attended by senior officials from offices of the Minister for Industry, Minister for Finance, Minister of Economy, The National Agency for Industrial Promotion (ANAPI), Ministry of Environment, Minister for Mines and Minister for Hydraulic Resources and Electricity.
These talks included AVZ’s proposed terms of reference for the Manono SEZ and its rationale for the Manono project including the Mpiana Mwanga Hydro Electric Power Plant rehabilitation, the Manono to Kabondo Dianda road refurbishment and the Lualaba River crossing.
“Mutually beneficial agreement”
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “Progressing discussions on the SEZ has proved challenging during the last seven months due to COVID-19 travel bans imposed in the DRC and the subsequent availability of key Congolese Government representatives.
“We are excited with the very recent progress achieved with the Congolese Government and look forward to a positive outcome being reached in terms of creating a workable and transparent SEZ agreement for the mutual benefit of the Manono region.”
The company’s proposed framework of economic incentives were submitted for review and consideration and inclusion within the proposed Manono SEZ regional development framework.
Additionally, files on the SEZ application were submitted to the Agency for Special Economic Zones for their determination and recommendations to the Minister of Industry.
Key findings and recommendations from the workshop will be submitted to the Minister of Industry who will, in turn, submit his report together with a draft decree for the proposed SEZ, supported by a draft agreement of collaboration to the council of Ministers and the Prime Minister of the DRC for their consideration, determination and for final execution.
Ferguson said: “A positive outcome will result in significant economic benefits for the company and the Manono Territory by reducing the largest area of financial impact on the Manono Project, as well as delivering a major catalyst for the redevelopment and invigoration of the socio-economic pulse of the Manono region.”