THE BOURSE WHISPERER: AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ) informed the market that it has entered a strategic relationship with Shanghai-listed company, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd.
The deal has been struck via the latter’s group company, Huayou International Mining (Hong Kong) Limited.
AVZ Minerals explained the agreement would enable it to draw on Huayou Cobalt Group’s experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and mainland China as it completes a Definitive Feasibility Study for the company’s Manono lithium and tin project in the DRC.
AVZ expects Huayou will also be able to provide advice and assistance with respect to project financing, offtake financing, strategic services, EPCM and cost-effective transport of product to final recipients.
Huayou Cobalt Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cobalt chemicals for use in batteries and has extensive in-country experience with several established cobalt mining and processing operations within the DRC.
Huayou is also a 9.47 per cent shareholder in AVZ.
AVZ outlined the strategic relationship that will emanate from the deal, saying it has been designed to promote discussions to advance Manono to production including, but not limited to, the Definitive Feasibility Study; project financing; off-take and EPCM; – Consideration of any other ways in which a relationship between the two parties may be beneficial for all stakeholders.
The Strategic Relationship agreement is non-binding and non-exclusive.
“AVZ values its existing relationship with Huayou very highly and this new agreement will see the two companies come even closer to advance the Manono project,” AVZ Minerals managing director Nigel Ferguson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“We believe that bringing Huayou’s tremendous mining expertise to bear on the DFS, financing and offtake negotiation will accelerate the commercialisation of the largest lithium ore body on the ASX and yield tremendous value for AVZ shareholders.”