07 March 2021 – With the tin price hitting some high notes early in the year, a number of new projects are in the pipeline. One of them is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is attracting more and more early-stage exploration companies. This year WhyAfrica’s Hawks Eye will be on AVZ Minerals’ Manono lithium and tin project in the DRC.
Australian listed AVZ Minerals recently awarded a 12-week Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract to Melbourne based engineering company, Mincore. Key deliverables of the FEED study at Manono include confirming the process flow sheet, confirming all bulk material quantities to verify pricing, confirming selected equipment pricing, finalisation of the execution schedule and provide “Issued for Construction” early works drawings.
The Manono project is owned by AVZ (60%), La Congolaise d’Exploitation Minière SA (30%) (Cominiere, a State-owned enterprise) and Dathomir Mining Resources SARL (10%, a privately owned company). The project covers 188 km2 in southern DRC and hosts lithium pegmatites with a strike length of 13 km+ centred on an historical tin mining operation. The two largest pegmatites (known as the Carriere de l’Este pegmatite and the Roche Dure pegmatite) are each of similar size or larger than the famous Greenbushes pegmatite in Western Australia. The Roche Dure Mineral Resource of 400 Million tonnes (Mt) grading 1.65% Li2O, 715 ppm Sn and 34 ppm Ta is world-class in scale and grade.
According to AVZ Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson, progressing the design of Manono at this time is standard practice and has the benefit of bringing the technical design parameters to finality, thereby providing potential investors and financiers with comfort on the Manono Project schedule, capital and opex costs. “It will also save significant time moving forward, as the results of the FEED study will be delivered to the successful company that is awarded the process plant EPC contract. We are committed to progressing the Manono lithium and tin project in a timely manner and the award of this study is a big step on the pathway forward,” says Ferguson.
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