(Bloomberg) — A battle over control of a massive untapped lithium deposit shifted gear as AVZ Minerals Ltd.’s biggest shareholder signaled it will support the ouster of the Australian miner’s board.
The Manono project in the Democratic Republic of Congo has the potential to be one of the world’s largest sources of the battery metal but, after acquiring exploration rights seven years ago, AVZ has found itself locked in lawsuits and arbitration against its partners and the Congolese government.
Competition to develop new sources of lithium has heated up in recent years due to an anticipated explosion in demand for electric vehicles, although the price has tumbled this year on a supply glut.
Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry Co., a Chinese producer of chemicals used in EV batteries, said it would vote for the removal of the directors. “We are very disappointed with the work of the existing board,” a company representative said in a written response to questions. “The Manono project has missed the best development time already.”
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