A day after announcing it had drilled into another massive spodumene intersection at Manono, AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ) has secured a potential lithium offtake deal with the world’s largest lithium-ion battery electrolyte manufacturer Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co (Tinci).
The memorandum of understanding between the parties paves the way to advance negotiations and formalise offtake and investment agreements.
“We are pleased to progress discussions with Tinci, as they are a well-regarded company globally and significant in the battery materials supply chain,” AVZ executive chairman Klaus Eckhof stated.
“AVZ continues an active dialogue with multiple Chinese groups seeking investment opportunities in the company and project,” he said, adding, the company anticipating making further announcements regarding these discussions in the “coming weeks”.
Manono’s massive visible spodumene intersections
Only yesterday, AVZ reported it had pulled out another huge intersection with observable spodumene from resource drilling at the Roche Dure pegmatite within Manono in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The intersection was 282.95m thick and is in similar proportions to the record intersection announced late February of 295.05m.
Although assays are pending, the spodumene is visible to the naked eye and the thickness has exceeded AVZ’s expectations of 230m.
After a slight delay, four drill rigs are anticipated to be operational at Manono within the next few weeks, with a fifth on its way from South Africa.
A maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate is anticipated to be released from the first 20,000m drilling campaign sometime in the next quarter.
AVZ has a conceptual resource target of 1.2 billion tonnes grading 1.5% lithium. However, at this stage, this is purely anticipation and not JORC-compliant.
High-grade lithium rock chips from Carriere de l’Est
In addition to its flagship Roche Dure pegmatite, AVZ has identified the Carrier de l’Est pegmatite as another significant target after rock chip samples assayed up to 4.33% lithium.
Once drilling has wound up at Roche Dure, AVZ plans on drilling Carriere de l’Est as its second target.
AVZ has a 60% interest in the main Manono tenement which hosts two historic operations. The tenement covers 188 square kilometres, and AVZ has a 100% in a further 242.25sq km of surrounding tenements.
AVZ’s share price dipped 2% in early morning trade to A$0.235.