15/06/2021 - 16:35

AVZ secures lease over land for DRC lithium logistics hub

15/06/2021 - 16:35


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AVZ Minerals has locked in a long-term lease over an industrial site earmarked as an integral logistics hub for the transfer of concentrate for export from its proposed Manono hard-rock lithium project in the DRC. The company says the Kabondo Dianda “intermodal staging station”, where the Manono concentrate will be trucked, forms part of its logistics plan to export finished products to global markets.

ASX-listed Central Africa lithium player, AVZ Minerals has locked in a long-term lease over a 12.27-square-kilometre industrial site earmarked as a logistics hub for transfer of spodumene concentrate for export from its proposed Manono hard-rock lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Perth-based company says the Kabondo Dianda intermodal staging station, where Manono concentrate will be trucked, forms part of its infrastructure plan to export finished products to global markets.

AVZ established a dedicated logistics subsidiary for Manono called Nyuki Logistics Company.

Nyuki has been tasked with commercial and operational management of Manono’s logistics requirements, including road haulage, ferry operations, rail and port services and logistics infrastructure maintenance.

The company envisages concentrate being transported by road and rail to the Port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the Port of Lobito in Angola via the Kabondo Dianda intermodal staging station.

According to management, meetings held between key local stakeholders and Nyuki representatives helped AVZ obtain approvals for its environmental and social impact assessments, or “ESIAs” for the Manono project.

AVZ says successful ESIAs will entail rehabilitation of the road from Manono to Kabondo Dianda and new ferry crossing site, material handling site and depot for finished products being exported.

The assessments will also cover in-bound consumables and materials bound for Manono and nearby communities.

The Kabondo Dianda land concession agreement also involves AVZ contributing to local community social economic development programs and improvements to provincial infrastructure.

AVZ Minerals Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson said: “Signing the agreement to lease industrial land at Kabondo Dianda is another important milestone in the company’s logistics plan, which will see Manono’s finished products exported through the ports of Lobito in Angola and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.”

“Investment in and around the area of Kabondo Dianda has been limited in recent times and the improved rail and road access should assist to empower the community to realise sustained economic development opportunities, improving their social wellbeing.”

AVZ last month put out a revised resource estimate for Manono’s main Roche Dure deposit that now stands at a measured, indicated and inferred 401 million tonnes of spodumene-rich fresh pegmatite at average grades of 1.65 per cent lithium oxide, 752 parts per million tin and 34ppm tantalum for about 6.64 million tonnes of contained lithium oxide.

The $450 million market-cap company aims to release an optimised definitive feasibility study on construction of the proposed Manono mining and processing operation and associated infrastructure this month.

Headline numbers in the Manono DFS mark I tabled by AVZ in April last year included an eye-catching annual EBITDA averaging more than US$400 million a year and profit after tax of US$188.95 a year over an initial 20-year life of mine.

Pre-production capital cost of the project development was put at US$545 million in the original DFS.

All financial forecasts were based on 100 per cent ownership of the project.

AVZ currently has a 60 per cent interest in Manono and has an option to increase its stake to 75 per cent, with the DRC Government owning 25 per cent.

In the first DFS, production at Manono was estimated at 700,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per annum across the initial two decades.


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