Zijin Mining to Lead Exploration and Development of Northeast of Manono Lithium Project in DR Congo
2023/10/31 4493

l  Zijin has partnered with DRC’s COMINIERE on the world-class project

l  Mine and smelting facilities will be built to support the low-carbon transition

On October 23, Zijin Mining obtained an exploration license in the northeast of the Manono lithium exploration project from the Ministry of Mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo(DRC). Manono is one of the world’s largest lithium-rich LCT(lithium-cesium-tantalum) pegmatite deposits, and can be developed as an open-pit mine.

Although Manono is a greenfield project, it is located in a good metallogenic belt of lithium resources, and holds huge potential for discoveries. There are conditions for large-scale, open-pit mining, and good prospects for development. By leveraging its mature independent geological exploration capabilities, Zijin is expected to achieve major breakthroughs in the exploration of spodumene pegmatite resources. The company will also provide sufficient funds and technical support to advance the exploration and development of the project.

Joint venture with COMINIERE

Following a ruling by the Congolese judicial authorities and approval from government agencies, the 100% interest in the exploration license of the Manono Lithium Mine (PR 13359) was returned and registered under the name of DRC’s state-owned La Congolaise d’Exploitation Minière (COMINIERE). Subsequently, Zijin was invited by COMINIERE to jointly explore and develop the northeast of the exploration license, leading to the establishment of their joint venture Manono Lithium SAS.

According to the joint venture agreement, Zijin and COMINIERE hold the exploration license in the northeast of the project (PR15775) through Manono Lithium. Jinxiang Lithium, an overseas subsidiary of Zijin, owns a 61% equity interest in the joint venture, while COMINIERE holds the remaining 39% interest.

They also agreed to directly swap Zijin’s 15% interest in Dathcom for a 61% interest in the joint venture, which is held by Jinxiang Lithium. According to the agreement, Jinxiang Lithium will lead the geological exploration, construction, development, and operation of the project.

Zijin had previously obtained the right to develop the old, decommissioned Mpiana-Mwanga hydropower power plant near Manono through an open tender process. Once completed, Mpiana-Mwanga will provide sufficient low-carbon power for the project.

Combining lithium mining with downstream processing

The company plans to finish the construction of the project within two years after the feasibility study is completed and the financing plan determined. An industrial park focusing on lithium smelting will also be built simultaneously, with the products supplied first and foremost to downstream companies based in the DRC according to market practices. Once commissioned, the Manono project will become one of the world’s leading lithium production bases. It will help promote economic and social development in local communities and the DRC at large, provide the world with high-quality, low-carbon metals to combat climate change, and propel Zijin into the ranks of leading global lithium producers.

Since 2014, with a total investment of more than 2 billion US dollars, Zijin has built and commissioned large mines such as the Kolwezi Copper Mine and the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the DRC, and created more than 6,800 local jobs in the process.

Translator: Jian     Reviser: Li Yuanxing   Editor-in-Chief: Wang Jie