AVZ Minerals has signed an agreement with Chinese enterprise Guangzhou Tinci Materials for the latter’s potential investment and offtake in AVZ’s 60 per cent-owned Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The remaining 40 per cent of the project not owned by AVZ is currently split between La Congolaise D’exploitation Miniere SA with 30 per cent, and Dathomir Mining Resources with the remaining 10 per cent.
Tinci is the world’s largest manufacturer of battery electrolytes in the world (with a market capital of 14.9 billion renminbi, or $3.02 billion) and the DRC is currently the world’s largest supplier of cobalt (a noted battery metal), hosting over half of known reserves. The country’s activity is such that it produces around eight times more cobalt than its closest competitor, China.
AVZ has invited employees of Tinci to visit its operations in the DRC for more formal discussions regarding potential investment opportunities. Klaus Eckhof, exectuive chairman of AVZ said that he was pleased to progress discussions with Tinci.
“They are a very well-regarded company globally and significant in the battery minerals supply chain,” he said. “Our excellent drilling results released to date underpin the world-class status of Manon and highlight the unique opportunity that exists for the company relative to all other hardrock deposits.”
AVZ’s Manono project covers a 188-square-kilometre region that includes lithium pegmatites with a strike length of over 13km. Results from an initial drilling program conducted last year include results of 235m at 1.66 per cent lithium, 202.8m at 1.57 per cent lithium and 250.9m at 1.48 per cent lithium.