LithiumBank unveils plans for Alberta LHM production

29th May 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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TSX-V-listed LithiumBank has announced the results of its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Boardwalk lithium brine project, in west-central Alberta.

The study proposes 31 350 t/y battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) over 20 years – the biggest proposed LHM production in North America. This is the equivalent of 28 000 t/y of lithium carbonate equivalent.

The company plans to use direct lithium extraction (DLE) to process Boardwalk brine, which it says requires less fresh water and has a surface footprint that is a fraction of hard rock or evaporation lithium production.

“We are very pleased to provide one of a handful of economic studies of DLE-based lithium projects in the world. Over the last 15 months, our PEA has rigorously tested or assessed over a dozen DLE technologies, completed multiple trade-off studies and has established Boardwalk as an economically viable project in the new post-pandemic financial environment,” commented executive chairperson Paul Matysek.

The PEA base case assumes a long-term LHM price of $26 000/t. At this price, the project achieves a positive net present value of $2.7-billion on a pre-tax basis at an 8% real discount rate and an internal rate of return of 21.6% before tax.

Total capital costs are estimated at C$2.09-billion and operating costs at $6 807/t.

LithiumBank states that multiple opportunities exist to significantly enhance project economics through optimisation, further engineering and pending incentive tax credits, such as the investment tax credit for clean technology manufacturing, which was announced in this year's budget. The refundable tax credit will be applied on capital expenditures for the extraction and processing of critical minerals.

“The Boardwalk PEA marks a significant milestone for LithiumBank,” commented CEO and director Rob Shewchuk. “It sets the stage for our team to now pursue lithium resource development in Western Canada with a significantly enhanced ESG profile compared to other forms of lithium mining. We will leverage this PEA to expedite an additional PEA on Park Place lithium brine project only 50 km to the south. By the end of 2023, we expect to commence pilot plant studies on both Boardwalk and Park Place in tandem. In parallel, we will be working to capture the near-term enhancement opportunities we have already identified in this study that we expect to drive significant incremental NPV and IRR performance. We believe this has the potential to position both the Boardwalk and Park Place districts among the most attractive direct brine projects in North America.”


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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