AVZ Minerals’ (ASX: AVZ) wholly-owned subsidiary Nyuki Logistics Company SASU has secured a renewable 25-year lease on a 12.27 square kilometre industrial site in the Democratic Republic of Congo for logistics activities relating to the flagship Manono lithium-tin project.
The site sits 4km southeast of the regional town of Kabondo Dianda and will host an intermodal staging station which forms a vital part of AVZ’s logistics infrastructure plan to export finished products from Manono to global markets, using the ports of Lobito in Angola and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Nyuki was formed as a dedicated logistics arm for the project and is responsible for the commercial and operational management of Manono’s logistics requirements, including road haulage, rail and port services and infrastructure maintenance, under a service agreement with Dathcom Mining SA.
Local community approval
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said the industrial site agreement was an important milestone which has met with the approval of the local community.
“Our Nyuki team has visited Kabondo Dianda several times for community meetings with key stakeholders which have resulted in approval of [environmental and social impact assessments] for rehabilitation of the road from Manono, the proposed new ferry crossing and materials handling sites, and the depot for finished products being exported to global markets,” he said.
“Meetings were held with the caretaker governor of Haut-Lomami and his advisors last week to discuss the project [and they are] excited by the many benefits our collaboration will bring to the town, such as improvements to provincial infrastructure and employment opportunities for locals.”
Mr Ferguson said the company had also sat down with local indigenous chiefs to discuss their people’s specific needs and involvement in the project.
“Investment in and around the area of Kabonda Dianda has been limited in recent times and the improved rail and road access should assist to empower the community to realise sustained economic development opportunities and improve their social well-being,” he said.