AVZ Minerals has awarded a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study contract to engineering firm Mincore for the Manono Lithium and Tin Project in southern Congo.

As part of the 12-week FEED study, Mincore will confirm the process flow sheet and all bulk material quantities to verify pricing.

The study will also confirm selected equipment pricing, finalise the execution schedule, and provide “Issued for Construction” early works drawings.

AVZ Minerals has been offered by Mincore to accept part payment in shares of AVZ for the FEED contract.

Mincore has also been shortlisted for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the main process plant.

However, the final EPC contract is planned to be awarded following the completion of the final investment decision (FID) on the project.

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By GlobalData

AVZ Minerals managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “Progressing the design of the Manono Project at this time is standard practice and has the benefit of bringing the technical design parameters to finality, thereby providing potential investors and financiers with comfort on the Manono Project schedule, capital and OPEX costs.

“It will also save significant time moving forward, as the results of the FEED study will be delivered to the successful company that is awarded the process plant EPC contract.”

Last year, AVZ Minerals has called $300m worth of pre-mining infrastructure tender packages for the Manono project.

AVZ owns a 60% stake in the project while its other partners, namely La Congolaise D’exploitation Miniere and Dathomir Mining Resources, respectively own 30% and 10% stakes.