AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) - Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson
Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson
Source: AVZ
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  • AVZ Minerals (AVZ) is granted approval for the environmental and social impact assessment of its Manano Lithium and Tin Project in the DRC
  • The green light from the Ministry of Mines is one of several permitting and licensing approvals required as part of AVZ’s mining licence submission
  • AVZ is progressing towards a bankable feasibility study and targeting a final investment decision in the fourth quarter of the 2021 financial year
  • Meanwhile, AVZ has exercised the option to increase its stake in Manono by 15 per cent, taking its total shareholding in the project to 75 per cent
  • Shares closed at 24.5 cents on August 17

The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) of AVZ Minerals’ flagship Manano Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been approved.

The final ESIA was given the green light by the Direction de Protection de l’Environnement Minier (DPEM) under the DRC’s Ministry of Mines.

It follows active government engagement by AVZ on all permitting and licensing approvals required as part of the company’s mining licence submission for the project.

Accordingly, the granting of a mining licence requires an approved ESIA, in addition to a technically-approved definitive feasibility study — which is currently under review — and the go-ahead from Cadastre Minier (CAMI).

Once the above items have been checked off, AVZ can then submit a proposed ministerial decree, drafted by CAMI, to the Minster of Mines for final sign off.

The company’s managing director Nigel Ferguson said approval of the ESIA was an encouraging development that signified the DRC Government’s wider support for Manono.

“All the pending permit requirements, including the mining licence, Mpiana Mwanga Hydro-Electric Power Plant Agreement, Collaboration Development Agreement and the proposed Manono Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) are on track,” he said.

“The company is rapidly progressing towards finalising a bankable feasibility and securing project financing with a final investment decision expected in the fourth quarter of the 2021 financial year.”

AVZ increases stake in Manono

Meanwhile, the company has reportedly increased its interest in the Manono Project from 60 to 75 per cent.

AVZ did this by exercising the option to purchase Dathomir’s minority 15 per cent shareholding in Dathcom Mining for US$20 million (A$27 million).

Next steps

Looking ahead, a final decision on the Collaboration Development Agreement, which supports development of natural resources and infrastructure, is scheduled in the coming weeks.

A decision about the proposed MSEZ is expected shortly afterwards and will require provision of further financial information and investor considerations.

Discussions with potential financiers on project funding are reportedly progressing well.

AVZ said it was highly confident of receiving all necessary permitting and licensing requirements for its flagship project.

Company shares closed at 24.5 cents on August 17.

AVZ by the numbers
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