Lithium, Future energy
A feasibility study of the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project conducted by WSP and dated October 20, 2017, reports the following highlights:
- Average annual production of 186,327 tonnes of chemical grade lithium concentrate
- Average annual production of 50,205 tonnes of technical grade lithium concentrate
- Average annual production of 429 tonnes of tantalum concentrate
- Expected life of mine of 17 years
- Average operating costs of $66.56 per tonne milled, $458 (US$344) per tonne of concentrate (all concentrate production combined)
- Estimated initial capital cost $341.2 million before working capital
- 100% equity basis for project
- Average gross margin 63.6%
- After-tax NPV of $726 million (at 8% discount rate), after-tax IRR of 34.9% and price assumption of US$1,500 per tonne technical grade lithium concentrate, US$750 per tonne chemical grade lithium concentrate, US$130 per kg tantalum pentoxide
- Anticipated construction time to start of production of 21 months
The feasibility is based on a conventional truck and shovel open pit operation and a conventional milling process to produce technical and chemical grade spodumene concentrates and a tantalite concentrate.
The mine will excavate a total of 26.8M tonnes ore grading an average of 0.85% Li2O and 133 ppm Ta2O5 after dilution. The mill will process 1.61M tonnes of ore per year to produce an annual average of 236,532 tonnes of technical and chemical grade spodumene concentrates and 429 tonnes of tantalite concentrate. The ore is contained in several parallel and continuous low dipping pegmatite veins outcropping on surface. The ore zones are open at depth and a future underground operation is possible.
A Mineral Reserve Estimate for 17 mineralized zones was prepared during this study. The estimation assumed the production of a chemical grade spodumene concentrate with a price of 15.66 US$ per kg Li2O and a tantalite concentrate with a price of 130 US$ per Ta2O5. The recoveries were fixed at 85% and 64% for Li and Ta respectively.
Table 1 displays the results of the Mineral Reserve Estimate for the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project at the $29.70 NSR per tonne cut-off for the open-pit scenario.
Table 2 displays the results of the Mineral Resource Estimate for the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project using $30 NSR per tonne cut-off for the open-pit mine and $110 NSR cut-off for the underground mine.