The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has signed an agreement with AVZ Minerals to investigate a potential refurbishment of the old Mpiana-Mwanga hydropower station.
Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Energy made the announcement and said the MoU has paved way for feasibility studies to be conducted. The power station is located 85km from it Manono lithium and tin project.
Mpiana-Mwanga hydro-electric power station.
It was originally commissioned in 1933 to support a local tin mine but was mothballed in 1982 after the mine closed. According to AVZ, the power project presents as a future power source for their rapidly advancing lithium project that boasts possibly the largest undeveloped lithium resource in the world today.
If rehabilitated, the Mpiana-Mwanga hydro-electric power station, could provide up to around 54Mw of electricity. It will be a cheaper option than diesel-powered generation. Additionally, the plant will most likely provide sufficient power for AVZ’s mining camp, the nearby Manono town site and any future expansion of the mine site, including a possible future 25Ktpa hydroxide plant.
“Controlling the refurbishment of the hydro power plant allows the Company to develop the hydro plant in phases that align with AVZ’s mine expansion program, with the first phase delivering approximately 18Mw of electricity from two turbines. “We can then expand the existing power station, which has capacity for six turbines, to deliver additional electricity for our expanded DMS plus flotation operation and finally, our third expansion phase – establishing a hydroxide plant — with a combined requirement of approximately 54Mw of electricity,” said AVZ.