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AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) - Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson - The Market Herald
Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson
Sourced: The West Australian
  • AVZ Minerals (AVZ) is gearing up to go mining at its flagship Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in central Africa
  • The company has tendered for the Roche Dure Processing Plant, begun planning its early works program and a mining license application is being prepared
  • The company said discussions with the DRC's Department of Industry to sign off on making the Manono Project a Special Economic Zone has slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but talks are still ongoing
  • AVZ Minerals also advises that Hongliang Chen, a nominee of the Huayou Cobalt Group, has resigned as Non-Executive Director of the Company
  • The company's share price finished marginally in the red at market close, down 3.17 per cent with shares trading for 6.1 cents each

Metals mining outfit AVZ Minerals (AVZ) is gearing up to go mining at its flagship Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in central Africa.

The company has begun several key processes to get their operations underway including; tendering for the Roche Dure Processing Plant, planning for their early works program is underway as well as preparing a mining license application.

AVZ Minerals is also in discussions with the DRC's Department of Industry to make the Manono Project a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Due to ongoing travel restrictions resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, those talks with the Government about the tax regime proposed for the Manono SEZ have slowed but are still in progress.

In a busy news day for the company, AVZ also announced that Hongliang Chen, a nominee of the Huayou Cobalt Group, has resigned as Non-Executive Director of the Company. Hongliang was appointed to the Board of AVZ following the completion of a $13 million placement in August 2017 which provided early support to the Manono Project.

Next steps

Following on from the publication of the Company’s Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) results for the Manono Project in April 2020, the company said their focus has quickly moved from the study phase to the design and implementation phase. As a result, AVZ has begun contacting companies identified during the DFS stage to invite them to tender for the various work packages required during the construction phase.

Planning also continues for both the early works program and the conversion of the exploration licence into the mining licence.

Due to ongoing travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said some of the proposed early works will be delayed until senior management can return to the DRC, which is currently in lockdown with no travel allowed.

The company hopes the proposed three-day workshop to be held in Kinshasa (West DRC) in late March, will be quickly resurrected upon the lifting of the current travel ban, so AVZ and the DRC government can sign off on the Manono SEZ.

The negotiated inclusions of the SEZ will initially cover the Manono Lithium and Tin Operations, the Mpiana Mwanga hydro-electric power station, the Manono to Kabondo Dianda road redevelopment and the Lualaba River crossing.

The company's share price finished marginally in the red at market close, down 3.17 per cent with shares trading for 6.1 cents each.


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