Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd to visit the Manono Lithium Project
AVZ Minerals Limited (ASX: AVZ) (“AVZ” or “Company”) is pleased to advise that it is actively progressing the Memorandum of Understanding(“MOU") with Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd (“BNB”) for potential investment and off-take opportunities.
As previously advised, discussions with BNB have been on-going for a number of months, and as part of BNB’s already-in-progress due diligence, the Company extended an invitation to visit the Manono Lithium Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”). Discussions have recently been held between BNB’s Chairman and AVZ Executive Management around working together to accelerate the development and production of the Manono Lithium Project. AVZ is pleased to confirm that the Chairman of BNB and their due diligence team will be attendingsite at Manonoin the DRCnext week withAVZ Management andits strategic advisor, Airguide International Pte Limited.
Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd (www.nationalpower.com.cn) is headquartered in Beijing, China, and holds the dominant market position for the supply of batteries to China's bus industry and is the 7th largest battery maker globally with a focus on rapidly expanding its production facilities.
AVZ’s Executive Chairman Klaus Eckhof commented: “We are very excited by the pace and professionalism demonstrated by BNB as they move through their due diligence process with AVZ. Their ambition to be a dominant player in the global battery market is an excellent match for AVZgiven the sizeof Manono. Thecontinued level ofinterest we areseeing in the Company following our recent record drill results, confirms once again the Manono Lithium Project as a world-class asset.”
AVZalso advises thatdiscussions with othermemoranda of understanding parties, Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co. and Shanghai GreatPower Industry Co. remain ongoing.
About Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd
BeijingNational Battery TechnologyCo., Ltd. engagesin the researchand development, production, and sales of lithium batteries. It offers lithium iron phosphate series of batteries for
use in buses and cars. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Beijing, China.
Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of State Power Group, Ltd (www.eng.spic.com.cn).
BNBhas its ownin-house team ofmore than 200technical staff, withover 15-years of experience in China's lithium-ion battery sector, with the principals of BNB involved with the creation of BYD. The company holds more than 300 patents and has established production bases in Zhengzhou of Henan Province, Haining of Zhejiang Province, Xiangyang of Hubei Province, Nanchang of Jiangxi Province and Xinyu City of Jiangxi Province.
BNBhas developed thenext generation oflithium iron phosphatebatteries with energy densities of 220 Wh/kg, and for its lithium nickel cobalt manganese (LiNiCoMn)O2 batteries, energy densities of 330 Wh/kg have been reached, both of these battery series are planned for mass production in 2020.
BNB holds the dominant market position for the supply of batteries to China's bus industry. The company has strategic supply agreements with Yutong Bus, Zhongtong Bus, King Long Bus, Yaxing Bus, Higer bus and Wuzhou Long Bus, with purchase orders in excess of 2 million kWh, and 5 billion yuan.
Interim Financial Report
31 December 2017
Your directors present their report on the consolidated entity consisting of AVZ Minerals Limited and the entities it controlled (“AVZ” or “Group”) at the end of, or during, the half-year ended 31 December 2017.
The following persons were directors of AVZ Minerals Limited during the half-year (or as disclosed) and up to the date of this report:
Klaus Eckhof – Executive Chairman
Nigel Ferguson – Executive Director, appointed Managing Director 5 February 2018
Guy Loando – Executive Director (appointed 21 August 2017)
Hongliang Chen – Non-Executive Director (appointed 21 August 2017)
Rhett Brans – Non-Executive Director (appointed 5 February 2018)
Patrick Flint – Non-Executive Director (resigned 6 March 2018)
Gary Steinepreis – Non-Executive Director (resigned 21 August 2017)
Mathew O’Hara was appointed Company Secretary on 21 August 2017 at which date Gary Steinepreis resigned.
Review of Operations
Manono Lithium Project, Democratic Republic of Congo
AVZ’s has a 60% interest in the Manono Lithium Project in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). PR13359 covers approximately 188km2 and includes the historic Manono and Kitotolo Mines.
AVZ completed an initial drill program in June 2017 to evaluate the potential of the Manono and Kitotolo pegmatites to contain economically significant lithium (Li) mineralisation. The program comprised seven diamond drill holes for 1,739m and tested four of the six large pegmatites at the Manono Lithium Project.
In all cases, thick intervals of pegmatite were intersected and spodumene was present within all the pegmatites. Drillholes MO17DD001 – MO17DD006 were completed in the Kitotolo Sector, and MO17DD007 completed in the Manono Sector.
AVZ received assays for the drill holes during the September 2017 quarter and results included:
• 250.9m* @ 1.48% Li2O, 913ppm Sn (Carriere de L’Est pegmatite)
• 235.0m* @ 1.66% Li2O, 1001ppm Sn (Roche Dure pegmatite)
• 202.8m* @ 1.57% Li2O, 1078ppm Sn (Roche Dure pegmatite)
• 65.9m* @ 1.51% Li2O (Tempete pegmatite)
• 45.7m* @ 1.59% Li2O, 1230ppm Sn (Mpete pegmatite)
*Down-hole length. Additional drilling is required to confirm the true-thickness of the pegmatites
The drilling results demonstrated that four of the largest pegmatites at the Manono Lithium Project contain a large proportion of spodumene and that in the unweathered, unaltered pegmatite the lithium mineralisation has a typical grade of about 1.5% Li2O. Significant tin mineralisation was also identified, see Figure 1.Click here to view full announcement
AVZ signs Memorandum of Understanding with Beijing National Battery
Technology Co., Ltd
AVZ Minerals Limited (ASX: AVZ) (“AVZ” or “Company”) is pleased to advise that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU") with Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd. (“BNB”) for potential investment and off-take opportunities with the Company.
Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd (www.nationalpower.com.cn) is headquartered in Beijing, China, and holds the dominant market position for the supply of batteries to China's bus industry. The company holds more than 300 patents and has 6 high-performance lithiumion battery production lines in Henan, Zhejiang, Hubei and Jiangxi and other regions with annual production capacity in-excess of 3 billion AH. BNB has a strong focus on rapidly expanding its battery manufacturing capacity and securing long-life, low-cost lithium supply is seen as a critical part of their strategy.
Discussions with BNB have been on-going for a number of months, and as part of BNB’s already-in-progress due diligence, the Company has extended an invitation to visit its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help facilitate a proper appreciation of the enormous potential of the Manono Lithium Project.
AVZ’s Executive Chairman Klaus Eckhof commented: “We are extremely excited to progress discussions with a company the size and calibre of Beijing National Battery Technology. The level of interest we are seeing in the Company following our recent record drill results, confirms once again the Manono Lithium Project as a world-class asset.”
AVZ signs Memorandum of Understanding with Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co. for potential investment and off-take
AVZ Minerals Limited (ASX: AVZ) (“AVZ” or “Company”) is pleased to advise that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU") with Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co., Ltd (“Tinci”) (http://www.tinci.com/en), for potential investment in the Company and off-take opportunities from the Manono Lithium Project.
Tinci is the largest battery electrolyte manufacturer globally and supplies a substantial portion of the global battery electrolyte market. Tinci has invested in Ronghui Industry and Jiangxi Lithium and other lithium carbonate manufacturers.
Executive level meetings by the Company’s Strategic Adviser, Airguide International Pte Ltd, are ongoing in China between multiple entities discussing potential investment and off-take opportunities with the Company.
AVZ has executed the MOU with Tinci to advance discussions towards formalising potential investment and off-take agreements. As part of this process, the Company has extended an invitation to Tinci, and other groups, to visit its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more formal discussions and to help facilitate a proper appreciation of the enormous potential of the Manono Lithium Project.
AVZ’s Executive Chairman Klaus Eckhof commented: “We are pleased to progress discussions with Tinci Group as they are a very well-regarded company globally and significant in the battery materials supply chain. Our excellent drilling results released to date under-pin the world-class status of Manono and highlights the unique opportunity that exists for the Company relative to all other hardrock deposits. AVZ continues an active dialogue with multiple Chinese groups seeking investment opportunities in the Company and project. We expect to announce more interest over the coming weeks.”
The Company also advises that Mr Patrick Flint has resigned as a Non-executive Director.The Board thanks Mr Flint for his contribution since his appointment in 2014.
AVZ Minerals Commences 20,000m Drilling Program
1 February 2018
AVZ Minerals Limited (“AVZ” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has commenced a 20,000m drilling program at the Manono Lithium Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”). Equator Drilling’s (“Equator”) drill rig and associated drilling equipment has arrived at site and all preliminary preparation was completed over the past week with sumps being excavated, drill pipe being offloaded and site inductions completed for all personnel, see Images 1 and 2.
Image 1. Drill rig walking to the drill pad at Manono after unloading.
Image 2. Drill rig arriving at the proposed drill hole site as prepared.
The rig is set up on line 7000mN, approximately 90m east of drill hole MO17DD001, at the Roche Dure Pegmatite in the Kitotolo Sector, see Figure 1. The proposed drill hole location will allow drilling beneath MO17DD001 to test depth extensions and thickness of the Roche Dure pegmatite expected to be in the order of ~230m thick.
Figure 1. Location of proposed Drill Hole MO18DD001 beneath MO17DD001.
Equity Drilling Limited’s (“Equity”) drilling equipment has cleared customs and is now located in Lubumbashi, with ancillary equipment also at the Zambia/DRC border. A total of five drill rigs will be operational on site by mid-February and it is expected that JORC compliant resources will be calculated in early Q2 2018.
Technical Director Nigel Ferguson commented: “The arrival of Equators drilling equipment is a long-awaited milestone for AVZ which will allow the commencement of the initial 20,000m of a 40,000m resource drilling program. The arrival of Equity’s drilling equipment on site in mid-February will place five drill rigs operating at the project, to allow the calculation of JORC resources for the first time at Manono. We look forward to presenting additional updates on this work as results become available.”
AVZ Minerals Ltd is a junior mineral exploration company focused on developing the Manono Project located in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in central Africa. AVZ has a 60 per cent interest in the Manono Project.
The Manono Project is potentially one of the world’s largest lithium-rich LCT (lithium, caesium, tantalum) pegmatite deposits. The Manono pegmatite extends for a strike length of at least 13km and is more than 240m thick in places. The Manono Project includes the historic Manono Mine, a pegmatite deposit mined for its tin content from 1919 to 1982.
The Company also holds a 100 per cent interest in the Manono Extension Project which surrounds the Manono Project.
In addition, AVZ holds a 60 per cent interest in the Katanga Regional Project which comprises seven exploration licences in the Kibaran Belt in southern DRC which are known to host lithium-bearing pegmatites.
AVZ listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2007 under the code AVZ.
AVZ’s objective is to leverage its significant DRC, financial and project development expertise to advance the potentially world-class Manono Project up the value curve, and thereby create value for shareholders.
AVZ plans to achieve this by:
- Undertaking an aggressive evaluation and confirmation drilling program at the Manono Project in 2017/18
- Applying financial and technical expertise in advancing the Manono Project to feasibility and development.
In order to achieve this, the Company has a highly experienced management team with successful track record of project identification through to development in the DRC.
Board of Directors
Executive Chairman (Dip. Geol. TU, AusIMM)
Mr Eckhof is a geologist with more than 20 years of experience identifying, exploring and developing mineral deposits around the world. Mr Eckhof worked for Mount Edon Gold Mines Ltd before it was acquired by Canadian mining company Teck. In 1994, he founded Spinifex Gold Ltd and Lafayette Mining Ltd, both of which successfully delineated gold and base metal deposits. In 2003, Mr Eckhof founded Moto Goldmines which acquired the Moto Gold Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There, Mr Eckhof and his team delineated more than 20 million ounces of gold and delivered a feasibility study within four years from the commencement of exploration. Moto Goldmines was subsequently acquired by Randgold Resources who poured first gold in September 2013.
Mr Eckhof is also a director of Amani Gold Ltd, and Carnavale Resources Ltd.
Executive Director (BSc Geology, FAusIMM, MAIG)
Mr Ferguson is a geologist with 30 years of experience having worked in senior management positions for the past 18 years in a variety of locations. He has experience in the exploration and definition of precious and base metal mineral resources throughout the world, including DRC, Zambia, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, South East Asia and Central America. He has been active in the DRC since 2004 in gold and base metals exploration and resource development.
Mr Ferguson is also Managing Director of Huntsman Resources, an unlisted public company.
Non-Executive Director (B.Com, CA, MAICD)
Mr Flint has been involved in the resources sector for the past 20 years as a director or company secretary of ASX and Toronto Stock Exchange-listed companies with mineral projects in Australia, Africa and Asia. He is a Chartered Accountant and has significant experience with project acquisitions, joint venture negotiations and management, fundraisings and corporate matters.
Mr Flint is also Company Secretary of Red Metal Ltd.
Mr Hongliang Chen is a nominee of the Huayou Cobalt Group to the AVZ Board. Mr Chen joined the Huayou Cobalt Group in May 2002 and is currently a director and the president of the parent company, Shanghai stock exchange-listed Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co Ltd. Mr Chen previously worked in management positions at the Agricultural Bank of China, Tongxiang Branch Investment Corporation Tongxiang Securities Department and Shenyin Wanguo Securities Co Ltd.
Mr Guy Loando is a qualified lawyer based in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He has significant experience with corporate and legal matters in the DRC, and has recently been involved in executive management roles in the resource sector. Mr Loando has joined the Board as a nominee of AVZ’s largest shareholder, Dathomir Resources sarl. Mr Loando's role is to assist with liaison with AVZ’s joint venture partners and various local, state and federal Government departments as development progresses at the Manono Project.
Mr Mathew O’Hara is AVZ's Company Secretary. Mr O’Hara (BCom, CA) previously spent 12 years working at an international accounting firm in both the audit and assurance and corporate advisory divisions providing a range of services to listed, unlisted public and private companies operating in the resource sector.