AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) progresses Manono Project with DRC Govt.

Source: Business News

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Government has approved a draft cooperation agreement with AVZ Minerals (AVZ).

The DRC’s political sphere has been in limbo for months, after a coalition between President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor, former President Joseph Kabila, came to an end. However, the struggle for power finally settled in early April, with the DRC announcing the formation of a new Government, led by President Tshisekedi. 

The new “Sacred Union of the Nation” Government was sworn in approximately two weeks later, in the last week of April. 

Despite being newly established, the Government’s Council of Ministers has approved a draft inter-ministerial decree, which in turn approved the draft cooperation agreement with AVZ.

Once finalised, these approvals are expected to eventually deliver significant fiscal benefits for the company’s Manono Lithium and Tin Project. AVZ Minerals owns a 60 per cent interest in the Manono Project, which covers 188 square kilometres in the south of the DRC.

In particular, the approvals are considered to be a positive step towards the approval of the Manono Special Economic Zone (MSEZ). The creation of the MSEZ is part of the company’s cooperation agreement with the DRC’s Government, and would provide the Manono Project with economic benefits in the form of tax concessions and import duty relief. 

AVZ Minerals’ Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson, called the approvals of the draft decree and the draft cooperation agreement another milestone for the Manono Project.

“The final cooperation agreement will deliver significant long-term economic benefits for the project, as well as further underpinning our substantial investment in the DRC,” he said.

“It will also deliver long-term benefits for the people of the Manono region, including access to improved health and education services, stable employment opportunities and upgraded infrastructure including electricity supply,” he added.

AVZ Minerals expects that the DRC Government will sign the formal decree relating to the cooperation agreement and the formal cooperation agreement itself as soon as is practicable. The company hopes that this will be sometime this month. 

AVZ Minerals is up 6.25 per cent, trading at 17 cents per share at 10:35 am AEST.

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