PERTH (miningweekly.com) – While a definitive feasibility study (DFS) into the Goulamina lithium project, in Mali, has proven the project’s economics, owner Mali Lithium has launched a review of both its lithium and gold assets to evaluate the ‘optimum path’ to realise value for shareholders.
The DFS into the Goulamina project estimated that it would require a capital investment of $194-million.
ASX-listed Mali Lithium on Tuesday told shareholders that based on a mineral resource of 108.5-million tonnes, grading 1.45% lithium oxide, the project would produce an average of 436 000 t/y of spodumene concentrate over a mine life of 23 years.
The DFS estimated a pre-tax net present value of some $1.2-billion, and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 55.8%, based on a price of $666/t of concentrate, while the all-in sustaining costs for the project have been estimated at $306/t of concentrate over years one to five of the operation.
There was also potential to increase the size of the openpit mineral resource and reserve through infill and extension drilling, Mali Lithium told shareholders.
“It is wonderful to have Goulamina confirmed as one of the world’s premier hard rock lithium assets with outstanding returns, few mining projects provide a pre-tax net present value of $1.7-billion,” said Mali Lithium executive chairperson Alistair Cowden.
“Goulamina requires a sharp individual focus and we will be reviewing options to achieve that. We are aware of market conditions for lithium at the moment, and given the quality of the project we will be patient to ensure we maximise shareholder returns,” he added.
The review will include consideration for joint venture, offtake financing, debt financing, equity financing, a possible sale of the project or a spin-out.
In addition to a review into the Goulamina project, Mali Lithium is also undertaking a review of its Morila gold operation, also in Mali.
The company recently struck a A$22-million to A$27-million agreement with majors Barrick and AngloGold to acquire the Morila gold mine, with the transaction set to close at the end of October.
The project is currently producing at an annualised rate of up to 50 000 oz/y recovered gold from tailings, however, Mali Lithium previously said that it plans to increase production by restarting openpit mining at satellite pits and at Morila itself.
The gold project is currently estimated to host an inferred resource of some 32-million tonnes, at 1.26 g/t gold for 1.3-million ounces of contained gold beneath and around the Morila main pit alone.
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