What’s going on with the AVZ share price?

A woman shrugs and pulls awkward expression with her face.

A woman shrugs and pulls awkward expression with her face.

The AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX: AVZ) share price was scheduled to return to trade on Friday after being suspended for over two months.

However, once again, the lithium developer has requested that its shares remain offline.

What’s going on with the AVZ share price?

The AVZ share price has been out of action since 9 May while it sorts out an ownership dispute relating to the Manono Lithium Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is battling a proceeding relating to what it describes as the “meritless claim that La Congolaise D’Exploitation Miniere SA (Cominière) has transferred a 15% interest in Dathcom Mining SA (Dathcom) to Jin Cheng.” Dathcom is the owner of the mining licence for the Manono Lithium Project.

There are concerns that AVZ could be left owning 60% of Dathcom if things don’t go to plan. But that’s before the proposed sale of a 24% stake to Suzhou CATH Energy Technologies. If that also goes ahead, the company could end up with just a 36% interest in Dathcom and the Manono Lithium Project.

What are they fighting over?

The Manono Lithium Project is located 500km north of Lubumbashi in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is home to the Roche Dure Mineral Resource, which is believed to be one of the largest undeveloped hard rock lithium deposits in the world.

Despite being a long way from any decent infrastructure, the company believes it is strategically positioned as a clean, sustainable source of lithium. Management also believes it could significantly contribute to the green energy transition and feed the global lithium-ion battery value chain.

Once operational, initial production is expected to be 700,000 tonnes per annum of lithium spodumene concentrate with 6% lithium oxide content (SC6) and 46,000 tonnes per annum of primary lithium sulphate.

As a comparison, Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) is targeting production of 373,000 to 377,000 dmt of spodumene concentrate in FY 2022.

What’s the latest?

This morning the company requested that its suspension continue until 29 July. It commented:

The Company regrets that the voluntary suspension period has lasted longer than was intended. During this period, the Company has been actively engaged with the highest levels of the Government with respect to the grant of the Mining Licence and an update regarding its exploration rights for the Manono Project.

Whilst the Company remains confident of a positive outcome, it will be necessary to continue the period of voluntary suspension as the subject of the initial trading halt request remains incomplete.

Drilling resumes

In other news, AVZ revealed that diamond drilling is recommencing at the Manono Project with the objective of significantly increasing lithium resources and reserves at Roche Dure.

AVZ’s Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson, said:

Given the imperatives around sourcing battery minerals for the global green-energy transition and in line with our February 2022 announcement of funding of a drilling program as part of our Early Works Program, I am pleased to confirm that drilling has recommenced at Roche Dure.

Drilling at the north-east end of the known orebody, in areas previously inaccessible due to surface water, is aimed at significantly increasing the known lithium-rich ore resources in this area. This will underpin our future plans to extend the stated mine life at Manono, should this drilling campaign prove to be successful.

The post What’s going on with the AVZ share price? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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