Millennial Lithium Corp (CVE:ML) (OTCQB:MLNLF) has hailed an eagerly awaited feasibility study for its Pastos Grandes project in Salta province, Argentina, which shows the asset has the potential to be a 'robust' lithium carbonate producer with low costs.
The study envisages production of 24,000 tonnes per year (TPY) of battery grade lithium carbonate - over 99.5% lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) - and puts the total initial capital expenditure required at US$448.2 million, including direct and indirect costs.
READ THE BIG PICTURE: Millennial Lithium hails Pastos Grandes' potential as it awaits bankable feasibility
"We are very pleased that we have been able to advance our Pastos Grandes project from exploration through to a completed feasibility study in just over two years," said Farhad Abasov, the CEO at Vancouver based Millennial in a statement Monday.
He pointed out that the firm was continuing with its product development and that a pilot plant was being assembled at site.
"Inventory is being built by increasing the volume of concentrated lithium brine in the pilot evaporation ponds. The pilot plant, engineered to produce 3 tonnes per month of LCE, will provide pilot studies to support detailed engineering estimates and product sample material for potential customers.
"With a strong cash position, Millennial is now confidently moving the project into the next development stage, including seeking full funding for construction," the CEO said
The feasibility study is based on an operation using proven solar evaporation technology and conventional lithium brine processing and it puts the projected mine life at 40 years.
The net present value (NPV) was put at US$ 1,030 million after-tax at 8% discount rate and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 24.2%.
Near doubling of tonnage
In April this year, the company reported a near doubling of the previous tonnage in the measured and indicated category of the Pastos Grandes resource at 4.12 million tonnes LCE and inferred resources of 798,000 tonnes.
Last month it submitted the EIA for construction and operations to the relevant Environmental and Mining Authority.
Currently, the firm is constructing a pilot plant, which is supported by around 32,500 square meters of pilot evaporation ponds together with a liming plant and is projected to produce up to 3 tonnes of battery grade lithium carbonate per month.
Millennial is well financed to complete this work and has a strong technical team with extensive lithium experience leading its efforts in Argentina.
The production model is divided into two stages: 1) Start-Up Stage from Years 1-6 (first 6 years of production) and 2) Main Mining Stage from Years 7-40 (remaining 34 years of production).
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