Aim-listed Atlantic Lithium confirms in a prefeasibility study (PFS) on the Ewoyaa lithium project, in Ghana, the viability of a 255 000 t/y 6% lithium spodumene concentrate operation.
The project has a post-tax net present value of $1.33-billion and an internal rate of return of 224%, with a payback period of less than five months.
For a 12.5-year mine life, Ewoyaa can generate an average of $248-million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation a year.
The company assumes a long-term average 6% lithium spodumene concentrate price of $1 359/t free-on-board over the mine life; however, recent equivalent grade prices on the Pilbara Minerals platform reached as high as $7 708/t.
Atlantic also declared a maiden ore reserve of 18.9-million tonnes grading 1.24% lithium oxide, demonstrating sound resource to reserve conversion, with the resource totalling 30.1-milllion tonnes grading 1.26% lithium oxide.
The PFS also envisions revenue streams from by-products produced from the spodumene concentration production, including a saleable direct shipping ore fines product and a saleable feldspar by-product.
For a capital cost of $125-million, the company can install a three-stage crushing facility and a dense media separation processing facility. Atlantic explains that opting for a crushing circuit in-house, as opposed to contract crushing, will improve operational control, reduce lithium losses and lower operational expenditure.
Operating costs of $278/t of 6% lithium spodumene concentrate, which include a discount of $165/t for by-products, further demonstrate the attractive fundamentals of the project.
Atlantic intends for Ewoyaa to be an openpit mining operation from surface, with significant exploration upside potential that can be investigated.
The project is located 110 km – by road – to the nearest deep-sea port of Takoradi.
“Against the backdrop of buoyant global lithium demand, driven particularly by electric vehicle demand, we believe Ewoyaa will play a significant role in sustainable lithium production.
“This PFS moves the project another step closer to becoming Ghana's first lithium-producing mine,” says Atlantic interim CEO Lennard Kolff.
He adds that, with the project supported by a funding agreement with Piedmont Lithium, the company can move swiftly to the project’s next stages of study and permitting.
Meanwhile, Atlantic has a resource infill and extensional drilling programme under way, the results of which it will announce soon.