PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Lithium developer Prospect Resources is looking at the staged development of its Arcadia project, in Zimbabwe, following a strategic review.
The ASX-listed company on Thursday reported that the strategic review concluded that an initial smaller commercial scale production facility, using the existing feasibility study dense media separation flowsheet, would allow for greater speed to market, higher technical certainty, significantly lower risk and reduced capital and operating costs.
This initial smaller-scale operation would be preferred over the inclusion of petalite flotation in place of the dense media separation, with Prospect telling shareholders that the increase in petalite recovery was insufficient justification to compensate for the higher technology risk for the startup operations.
In line with the staged development plan, the company would now undertake a revised feasibility study for a staged development plan of 1.2-million to 2.4-million tonnes a year, which will include front-end engineering design to improve technical certainty and reduce execution risk by providing greater accuracy on equipment selection, sizing, and resulting project economics.
“The staged development plan of 1.2-million to 2.4-million tonnes a year reduces time to production by leveraging lower capital expenditure and will enable expansion in line with market growth,’ said Prospect MD Sam Hosack.
“This development strategy allows risk to be managed effectively. Critically, Prospect maintains the ability to go direct to nameplate capacity of 2.4-million tonnes a year should market conditions and funding activities allow.”
The decision to stage the development has also resulted in changes to the pilot plant design, which will use the dense media separation flow sheet to deliver petalite product samples to customer qualification with greater speed and certainty than the alternative flotation flow sheet.