JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The economics of the Cinovec lithium/tin project are likely to be enhanced by the recent higher lithium recoveries that Australia- and UK-listed European Metals achieved during its ongoing metallurgical optimisation and ore variability testwork programme.
Lithium leach recoveries of 94% to 95% were achieved from laboratory roasting and water leaching tests, the company reported on Tuesday.
The tests confirmed that a modest increase in roasting temperature significantly increased lithium recovery and that the substitution of the more cost-effective reagent, limestone, instead of lime, did not reduce lithium recovery.
European Metals said that the use of limestone should result in significant cost savings in this part of the flowsheet.
"We continue to work on optimising all aspects of the Cinovec project and are pleased to be able to report significantly increased lithium recoveries from our roast/leach process, together with potentially lower operating costs in that section of the process,” said MD Keith Coughlan.
He added that the higher recoveries and lower costs would enhance the economics of the project, which according to the prefeasibility study of 2017 would be in the bottom half of the cost curve.
The study indicated a post tax net present value of $54-million and an internal rate of return of 21%. It confirmed the deposit will be amenable to bulk underground mining.