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Australia’s AVZ Minerals to file arbitration over contested Congo lithium mine

Australia’s AVZ Minerals said that it plans to file an emergency arbitration application, seeking injunctive relief against Cominiere to prohibit any transaction related to the contested Manono lithium mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Last week, China’s Zijin Mining said joint venture Manono Lithium SAS, in which its unit Jinxiang Lithium owns a 61% stake and DRC’s state-owned Cominiere has the remaining interest, was granted rights over the northeast tenement of the Manono mine.

AVZ is seeking relief under International Criminal Court rules to maintain and preserve the rights of Dathcom Mining SA, which it said owns the Manono project.

The company has pending legal challenges against Cominiere and another unit of Zijin.

The permit to develop one of the world’s largest hard rock deposits of the mineral initially belonged to AVZ Minerals. The permit was revoked in February by the DRC’s mines ministry which said the company had not developed the project fast enough.

China’s Zijin last week said it will defend its right to advance the lithium mine, after it was granted permission to develop the deposit.

By The African Mirror