London-listed lithium exploration and development company Bacanora Lithium CEO Peter Secker said on Wednesday that the company is in for a busy six months, as it works to finalise the funding package for its Sonora project, in Mexico, and complete a feasibility study for the Zinnwald project, in Germany.
The lithium carbonate operation at Sonora will require nearly $800-million for a phased project. Stage 1 will cost about $420-million and will produce 17 500 t/y, followed by Stage 2 that will cost $380-million, doubling capacity to 35 000 t/y of lithium carbonate.
Bacanora has secured $240-million of the capital required for Stage 1 and is in ongoing discussions with industry and strategic financial parties with regards to completing the financing package.
“The common thread linking Hanwa, the Japanese battery metals trader, SGRF, the sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman, RK Mine Finance, the debt providers, Citigroup and Canaccord, the global investment banks, is that they have all joined with Bacanora to assist in securing the funding package for a 35 000 t/y lithium carbonate operation at our Sonora project.
"For a junior resource company to have such a blue-chip roster of backers is a measure of the quality of the project, the favourable long-term fundamentals for the lithium market and the proven track record of the Bacanora team in terms of developing and delivering high-quality lithium projects,” said Secker.
Although lithium markets softened in the second half of 2018, he said that the world would continue to need lithium to power electric vehicles and to help store energy generated from renewable sources.
Secker also said that Bacanora would sharpen its focus on Zinnwald in the second half of the financial year. A feasibility study is under way, and once completed in the March quarter, the company would consider listing its German subsidiary on a stock exchange as part of its efforts to fund the development of a lithium fluoride operation at Zinnwald.
Zinnwald has a measured and indicated resource of 124 974 t of contained lithium.