PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A prefeasibility study (PFS) by the subsidiary of ASX-listed Lithium Australia, VSPC, into a lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) cathode powder has confirmed the project’s robust economics.
The PFS contemplated the production of 10 000 t/y of LFP cathode powder over a three-year period, with the project expected to reach nameplate capacity in 2026.
The PFS is based on proprietary VSPC process technology, with the proposed plant to be located in India, after having considered three jurisdictions, including Australia and Vietnam.
Lithium Australia on Wednesday said that the plant would require an investment of $113-million in two stages, over a three-year period, and could generate annual sales revenue of $140-million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $66-million a year.
The project would have a net present value of $253-million and an internal rate of return of 33%.
“LVSPC had demonstrated its capacity to produce some of the most advanced LFP cathode powders available and also higher energy density variants such as lithium manganese ferro phosphate (LMFP). VSPC has completed a PFS that clearly demonstrates the value of establishing an alternative cathode powder supply chain using VSPC’s proprietary technology,” said Lithium Australia MD Adrian Griffin.
“These major milestones have been achieved in an environment in which the largest electric vehicle producers are moving to incorporate LFP lithium-ion batteries into entry-level vehicles, due to their superior safety, lower cost, longer life and reduced exposure to conflict metals.
“These LFP attributes are also expanding its utilization in stationary energy-storage applications. Indeed, major battery producers world-wide are racing to expand their LFP production to meet demand as LFP becomes the fastest growing sector of the battery industry.”
VSPC will now complete a business case review for the preferred Indian option, and will engage with engineering firms for a definitive feasibility study.
Lithium Australia on Wednesday said that it would continue to evaluate downstream partnership opportunities, particularly in jurisdictions where the demand for LFP consumption was likely to increase rapidly.