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AVZ gets ministerial tick for lithium mining licence

The Democratic Republic of the Congo Minister of Mines has signed the ministerial decree to award the mining licence to AVZ Minerals and its flagship lithium and tin deposit – hailed as one of the largest undeveloped hard rock lithium deposits in the world.

The inking of the decree was the last of the procedural hurdles ahead of the official award of the licence that the junior explorer eagerly awaits. In accordance with the DRC regulations, the next step lies with the mining-administrative arm Cadastre Minier that operates under the supervision of the Minister of Mines.

The next step will see Cadastre Minier calculate the surface rights fees payable by AVZ’s subsidiary – Dathcom Mining SA– and will have the duty of providing the long-awaited mining licence following receipt of the payment.

The licence will cover the entirety of the Roche Dure JORC mineral resource of 401 million tonnes at 1.65 per cent lithium oxide in addition to the exploration target defined at the Carriere de l’Este deposit.

Notably, the receipt of assays from the second deposit in August 2021, prompted the junior explorer to brand the deposit as “a likely rival to Roche Dure”.

Among the major high-grade highlights was a 12m hit running 2.41 per cent lithium oxide and 735 parts per million tin from 35.9m downhole and another strike of 21.09m at 2.1 per cent lithium oxide and 943ppm tin from 126.91m downhole.

This paves the way for AVZ to start developing what is arguably one of the most important new mining projects in the world that will significantly contribute to the global green energy transition, while also uplifting the lives of the Congolese people who will contribute and receive sustained benefits from the Project for many decades to come.

The company is advancing its early works program ahead of a final investment decision to commence major works and first 6 per cent spodumene concentrate production toward the end of 2023.

The $19 million program will involve upgrading infrastructure, purchasing critical equipment and various technical studies.

AVZ holds a 75 per cent stake in the Manano project, 500km north of Lubumbashi in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, hosting the world-class Roche Dure mineral resource.

AVZ says its project is strategically positioned as a clean, sustainable source of lithium capable of significantly contributing to the green energy transition, feeding the global lithium-ion battery chain.

Given the future supply and demand outlook for lithium, AVZ’s monster of resource could not have come at a better time.

The International Energy Agency suggests in a Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, that demand for lithium in 2050 could be up to 50 times higher than in 2020.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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