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China's Tinci mulls Manono Li offtake deal

07 Mar 2018 11:33 GMT
China's Tinci mulls Manono Li offtake deal

Perth, 7 March (Argus) — Australian metals developer AVZ Minerals has signed a potential investment and offtake agreement with China's Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Company (Tinci) regarding the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The memorandum of understanding will move towards a potential investment in the project as well as an offtake deal from what could be one of the world's biggest hard rock lithium deposits.

AVZ has not yet declared a JORC-compliant mineral resource for the project. But it has an exploration target of 1.0-1.2bn t, grading 1.25-1.5pc lithium oxide.

AVZ owns 60pc of the project with the remaining 40pc owned by a state-owned DRC company and a privately-owned DRC company.

Tinci is the world's largest battery electrolyte manufacturers and supplies a large portion of the global battery electrolyte market. It specialises in research and development, manufacturing, applications and marketing of lithium-ion battery materials and raw materials. It has investments in Chinese lithium carbonate manufacturers Ronghui Industry and Jiangxi Lithium.

The company continues to hold talks with multiple Chinese groups seeking investment opportunities in AVZ and the Manono project, it said.

Africa's largest JORC-compliant lithium resource is the Arcadia project in Zimbabwe. The continent's first lithium carbonate production facility is also being investigated by project owner Prospect Resources and its Chinese investment and offtake partner.