Arcadia project increases lithium reserve
Perth, 19 March (Argus) — Perth-based Prospect Resources has increased the ore reserve at its Arcadia lithium-tantalum project in Zimbabwe to support a mine life of more than 20 years.
Africa's biggest lithium project with a JORC-compliant mineral resource now has an ore reserve of 26.9mn t, grading 1.3pc lithium oxide and 128 parts per million tantalum oxide. This is up from a previously stated reserve of 15.8mn t, grading 1.34pc lithium oxide and 127 ppm tantalum oxide, the company said.
The project's mineral resource is 43.2mn t.
An updated pre-feasibility study indicates a net present value at $340mn. The life of mine revenue is $2.6bn, while capital expenditure is $52.5mn. Payback period will be two years. Average operating costs are estimated at $287/t.
It is estimated that the project will produce 96,000 t/yr of spodumene concentrate and 127,000 t/yr of petalite concentrate, which converts to 27,000 t/yr of lithium carbonate equivalent.
Production of 98,000 lbs/yr of tantalum concentrate is expected. Prospect has a seven-year offtake agreement with China's Sinomine Resource Exploration and is considering options to establish Africa's first lithium carbonate or hydroxide facility.
The results confirm Arcadia's position as a future significant supplier of lithium to the global market, the company said.