Atlantic Lithium is making positive progress with the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Ewoyaa Lithium Project, located in Ghana, West Africa.
The PFS is expected to be completed in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022 and should see a significant improvement over the economic parameters defined in the December 2021 scoping study, which returned an after-tax NPV8 (net present value using an 8% discount rate) of US$789 million and an after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 194%.
Atlantic has recently completed metallurgical testing, which will feed the PFS, and support the use of a gravity separation plant at a coarser primary crush size, which is likely to reduce the capital cost of the plant.
This development could also potentially reduce the operating costs of the project, further improving the economics compared to the base case scoping study.
Further improvements to the potential economics of the project are expected to come from the JORC 2012 compliant mineral resource upgrade announced in March 2022.
This upgrade saw the Atlantic resource base increase by 42% to 30.1 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.26% Li2O.
The previously completed scoping study was based on a resource base of 21.3 million tonnes for a two million tonnes per annum operation, producing an average of approx. 300,000 tonnes
The larger resource base could increase the life of the mine, increase the size of the processing plant, or both, allowing the company to produce more spodumene concentrate per year over a longer period. Atlantic noted that there is a substantial improvement in project parameters with a mine life of over 15 years, previously estimating that each additional year of production will total c. US$60 million at after-tax NPV.
Additionally, the SC6 price used in the scoping study is a conservative price of USD 900/t, current auction prices are between USD 5,000/t and USD 6,500/t, which could impact important on the project parameters.