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AVZ Minerals in fruitful discussions for transport of Manono concentrate via Tanzania

Proactive Investors Thursday, 10 October 2019
AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) has had positive engagement with Tanzanian Government agencies around the transport of concentrate from Roche Dure within Manono Lithium and Tin Project in southern DRC via the port of Dar es Salaam. There has been a successful outcome from a series of recent meetings with agencies to better understand the current and proposed infrastructure to transport concentrate via the Tanzanian port. The relevant Government agencies have offered ‘every possible assistance’ to facilitate AVZ’s transport objectives. Meetings with officials AVZ Minerals’ managing director Nigel Ferguson met with high ranking officials from the Tanzania Port Authority, Tanzania Railways Corporation, Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority, Tanzania Revenue Authority and Tanzania’s Export Processing Zones Authority, which is the principal government agency for promoting investments in Tanzania’s special economic zones. Project issues focused around available capacity, laydown and storage areas at the port and a further range of benefits for AVZ such as tax incentives and exemptions, planned rail and port upgrades should further beneficiation in Tanzania be investigated. Nigel Ferguson with Tanzania Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Damas Ndumbaro. “Extremely well received” The company’s managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “AVZ Minerals and our world-class Manono Lithium and Tin Project was extremely well received by high-ranking officials from the Tanzanian Government. “All of the Government officials that I met offered every possible assistance to facilitate the company’s objective of being able to efficiently and cost effectively transport Roche Dure concentrate via the port of Dar es Salaam. “The company is now working towards securing formal Letters of Intent with the Tanzania Railways Corporation, Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority and Tanzania’s Export Processing Zones Authority around the movement of Roche Dure concentrate.” Large hard rock lithium project Manono is the world’s largest undeveloped hard rock lithium project in terms of grade, mine life and expandability. The resource is the largest lithium project with the highest grade owned by an ASX listed company, with a measured, indicated and inferred resource of 400 million tonnes at 1.65% lithium oxide, 715ppm tin and 34ppm tantalum. Project director appointed AVZ has appointed Michael Hughes, who has more than 35 years’ experience in engineering, procurement and construction in the minerals and metal market, as project director for Manono. Having worked for engineering companies and clients to execute studies and projects, his experience covers all metals and minerals commodity plant design and construction in Africa, India, France and Australia. Hughes has worked in many African countries, including Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Madagascar and Ethiopia. He joins the Manono team from Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN) where he was project director of significant plant expansions at its Cowal Gold Mine in New South Wales. Ferguson said: “We are especially pleased to welcome Michael to our team as the Manono project director as we advance the tier-1 project. “Michael joins our team having significant experience in managing many studies at all levels including scoping, pre-feasibility and definitive feasibility. “He also has proven success in developing projects, having built a sulphuric acid plant in Madagascar, executed a diamond mine cutback upgrade in Botswana and led the technical due diligence work for the international lenders on the Roy Hill project in Australia.” Dewatering progress At Roche Dure the pit dewatering is progressing better than planned with results showing at least a 75-centimetre drop in water level for every 24 hours of operation. This rate upholds the company’s interpretation that water in the pits is of meteoric origin and not groundwater ingress. Ferguson said: “It’s pleasing to see the advance in dewatering of the Roche Dure pit to allow access in the near future for further feasibility works. “We have long suspected the pits have been filled through surface flow of meteoric water (rainwater) instead of ingress through fractures in the host rocks of sub-surface groundwater. “Historically, a network of surface diversion drains were established to ensure water did not flood the pits during the local wet season. “AVZ has ensured these drains are now re-established and operational and we expect the water within the pits will be kept under control with regular pumping from a sump in the pit.”
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