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AVZ Minerals to acquire 60% stake in DRC lithium mine

Australia's AVZ Minerals Ltd. has inked a US$6 million deal to acquire a 60% interest in the Manono lithium-tin-tantalum mine in Democratic Republic of Congo.

AVZ said Feb. 2 that it is acquiring the interest from state-owned La Congolaise D'exploitation Miniere SA and Dathomir Mining Ressources SARL, the two companies that AVZ struck a deal with in November 2016 to acquire a 60% interest in seven lithium-prospective licenses.

The US$6 million will be paid in stages, with up to A$5 million expected to come from a placement of 250 million shares at 2 cents apiece.

AVZ will be responsible for funding the Manono project through to the completion of a feasibility study, and will also make certain cash payments and share issues in relation to the acquisition.

The 188-square-kilometer deposit was mined for tin between 1919 and 1980 and extends for at least 13 kilometers, with only a small shallow portion tested by historical exploration.

AVZ plans to complete a review of additional historic data, geological mapping and a short drilling program during the due diligence period.

Following successful due diligence, the company will undertake detailed drilling within the main target area and begin initial metallurgical test-work.

Meanwhile, AVZ also announced that Managing Director Klaus Eckhof has been appointed executive chairman and Nigel Ferguson has joined the board as a technical director.

Ferguson is a geologist with more than 30 years of experience who has been active in the DRC since 2004 in gold and base metals exploration and resource development.