The legal dispute (equity dispute) between China’s energy giant Zijin Mining and Australian company AVZ Minerals has attracted global attention. Zijin Mining believes that AVZ’s intermediary Marius Mihigo’s payment of $1 million (about AUD 1.5 million) in cash violates the mining framework rules of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Zijin Mining claims to have purchased a 15% stake in Manono from the Congolese state-supported mining agency Cominiere for $33.4 million in November 2021. However, AVZ has repeatedly refuted this claim, stating that it has no legal basis and still owns 75% of Manono’s shares.
Specifically, the dispute involves stakeholders from China, Australia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo over the ownership of the Manono, a highly valuable and undeveloped lithium mining project in the southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The International Chamber of Commerce arbitration hearing, originally scheduled for April 23 in Paris, has been postponed for undisclosed reasons.
On Wednesday this week, the Australian Securities Exchange suspended the listing eligibility of AVZ for non-compliance with its listing rules. The Australian Securities Exchange believes that AVZ did not disclose all information to the market and did not disclose the ownership dispute of Manono in 2021. (Pictures sourced from the Australian Financial Financial Report)