AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) has revealed a pre-tax, pre-royalties net present value of about US$1.6 billion (AVZ’s 60% share: US$0.93 billion) for the Manono Lithium Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The company’s scoping study has projected annual production of about 440,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) at a minimum of 5.8% lithium oxide concentrate from Case 1 throughput of 2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of pegmatite ore.
Key operating parameters
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “The AVZ Minerals Board is extremely pleased with the results of the independent studies and intends to immediately commence a full feasibility study.
“The studies undertaken not only demonstrate the potential for excellent economic outcomes, but also highlight the long-life, low-cost qualities typical of world-class Tier 1 assets.
“The Manono Lithium Project is now the largest undeveloped hard rock lithium project globally in terms of grade, mine life and expandability.
“We are confident that the project economics can be improved further, especially in the areas of transport, processing, power costs by utilising a refurbished hydro plant at Piana Mwanga and the recovery of tin as a by-product which can add considerable value to the bottom line and has not been included in any financial modelling.”
Estimated timeline to commissioning
The positive outcome from the scoping study for 2 mtpa provides options for up to a 10 mtpa open pit mining operation.
AVZ’s scoping study for the 4 mtpa (Case 2) and a 10 mtpa (Case 3) is currently in progress.
The metallurgical test work and the full feasibility study is expected to take six months to complete and is planned to be delivered by Q2 2019.