AVZ Minerals has signed a signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China-based battery electrolyte manufacturer Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology (Tinci) for a potential investment in AVZ.
The deal also covers various off-take opportunities from the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Tinci supplies a substantial portion of the global battery electrolyte market.
The company has previously invested in Ronghui Industry, Jiangxi Lithium and other lithium carbonate manufacturers.
AVZ’s strategic adviser, Airguide International, is currently carrying out executive-level meetings in China between multiple entities to discuss potential investment and off-take opportunities with the company.
The MoU was primarily signed to advance discussions towards formalising potential investments and off-take agreements.
AVZ has extended an invitation to Tinci and other groups to visit its operations in the DRC as part of the MoU.
The offer is intended to encourage formal discussions and help facilitate a proper appreciation of the Manono lithium project’s potential.
AVZ executive chairman Klaus Eckhof said: “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 underpin the world-class status of Manono and highlight the unique opportunity that exists for the company relative to all other hard rock 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.”
Tinci was originally founded in June 2000 and has a market capitalisation of RMB14.9bn ($2.35bn).
The company specialises in research and development (R&D), manufacture, application and marketing for lithium-ion battery components and related upstream raw materials.