October 18, 2017

Australian and Mauritian miners fight over lithium deposits in DR Congo

AVZ Minerals’ over ownership rights of a mining licence covering the Manono and Kitololo lithium deposits in the Katanga Province, a lucrative mining area in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is being challenged in court.

Last week, Mauritius-registered private resources investment firm, MMCS Strategic, filed a writ in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to end a dispute between itself and Australian-listed junior resources company, AVZ Minerals.

A few weeks ago, AVZ Minerals claimed that it had entered into a transaction to acquire a 60% interest in the Manono area. oddly enough, Mauritius-domiciled private resources investment firm, MMCS Strategic, also claims to legal ownership rights of the mining licence covering the Manono and Kitololo area.

In the court papers, MMC claims that the DRC Ministry of Mines unlawfully revoked mining permit, PE 12202, and issued a new permit covering the same area to a separate joint venture led by AVZ Minerals and also involving Cominière.

MMCS owns 68% of shares in Manono Minerals, a JV between MMCS and the DRC government-owned Cominière, which holds mining permit PE 12202 covering the Manono and Kitotolo deposits.

According to the claim, in 2016, the DRC Ministry of Mines unlawfully revoked mining permit PE 12202 and issued a new permit covering the same area to a separate joint venture led by AVZ Minerals and also involving Cominière.

The DRC Supreme Court of Justice will adjudicate on the matter in the coming weeks.

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