AVZ Minerals has received a ringing endorsement of its green credentials, with an independent study of the company’s developing Manono lithium operation in Africa suggesting the aspiring producer may boast one of the lowest carbon footprints of any hard rock lithium mine in the world. The company’s proposed minimisation and offset program may result in close to zero greenhouse gas emissions.
AVZ Minerals has received a ringing endorsement of its green credentials with an independent study of the company’s developing Manono lithium operation suggesting the aspiring producer may boast one of the lowest carbon footprints of any hard rock lithium mine in the world.
A greenhouse gas assessment, undertaken by global experts Environmental Resource Management, or “ERM” examined the potential sources of various gases at the developing mine and concluded the company’s proposed minimisation and offset program would result in close to zero greenhouse gas emissions.
AVZ is proposing a raft of innovations at the central African mining operation which would largely mitigate the production of a trio of recognised greenhouses gases including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Key to the reduction in gas emissions is the planned refurbishment and use of the nearby Mpiana Mwanga Hydro Electric Power Plant, which will deliver a green power source for the evolving operation including much of the proposed plant and equipment.
The hydroelectric scheme is set to power up a range of cutting-edge initiatives including an electric mining fleet and the use of excess power to generate hydrogen for use on fuel cell electric vehicles. Any use of fossil fuels in the mining cycle will be offset via the establishment of a 5,000 hectare “sequestration plantation”.
“Ultimately, we want to see the electricity generated from the Mpiana Mwanga Hydro Electric Power Plant used to operate all our mining equipment, making the Manono Project a 100% ‘green’ mine. Any surplus power may be provided into the national grid for use in the town of Manono.”
“This will be a significant achievement for AVZ and everyone associated with the Manono Project, including our shareholders and our financiers.”
The Manono lithium-tin project is located in the mineral-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo. The central African nation boasts a vibrant mining sector with mining operations operated by a “who’s who” of the resource sector including commodity giants Glencore and Freeport-McMoran.
AVZ’s exploration at Manono has delineated a massive open pit resource of 400 million tonnes, which grades at an impressive 1.65 per cent lithium oxide, cementing the developing operation as one of the largest lithium deposits in the world.
The company has delivered an outstanding definitive feasibility study for the project, with the study flagging a 20-year mine life, a $3.25 billion Net Present Value and an eye-popping $515 million annual EBITDA.
Not to rest on its laurels AVZ has continued to develop a laundry list of refinements to the evolving Manono operation which includes a proposal for down-stream processing to produce lithium sulphate and upgrading of existing infrastructure to support the proposed mine - initiatives which continue to raise AVZ’s social and environmental credentials.
The published greenhouse gas study by ERM examined the potential greenhouse gas production from the entire mining cycle at Manono. Consideration included emissions from initial land clearing through to mining and processing of the lithium, tin and tantalum ores through the concentrate and sulphate plants and onward transportation for export. The use of hydroelectric power, electric vehicles, fuel cells and utilising existing rail to port has dramatically reduced AVZ’s proposed greenhouse gas output and may serve as a blueprint for other developing operations across the globe.
With demand for lithium-ion batteries on the rise and AVZ looking to exceed international environmental standards at its developing Manono operation, the company is likely to continue to attract more than a few admiring glances as it powers towards production in Africa’s DRC.
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