Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Primero Group Ltd (ASX: PGX) for the delivery of a spodumene concentrator on an Engineer, Procure, and Construct (EPC) basis at the Piedmont Lithium Project in North Carolina.
Piedmont and Primero have partnered since early 2018 and Primero has been the lead engineering consultant for Piedmont’s scoping studies, concentrator design, and metallurgical test work management.
Building on this strong relationship, Piedmont and Primero have entered into the MOU to work together on an exclusive basis to agree binding documentation relating to the definitive feasibility study (DFS), front-end engineering design, EPC delivery, commissioning, ramp-up and contract operations of the spodumene concentrator.
“This is a key milestone”
Piedmont president and CEO Keith D Phillips said: “We are very pleased to be working with Primero as we advance our integrated lithium hydroxide project.
“Primero is the world-leader in the design, construction and operation of spodumene concentrate plants, with extensive involvement in many of the producing operations in Western Australia and leadership roles in projects in Canada, Brazil and Portugal.
“This is a key milestone as we build out our project execution team, with an emphasis on working with proven processes and experienced professionals.”
Expertise in spodumene projects
Primero is recognized as a world leader in the design, construction, optimization, and contract operations of spodumene projects globally.
The company’s client list includes the existing operations of Pilbara Minerals, Altura, Alliance Minerals and Galaxy and engineering services performed for Sigma Lithium, Savannah Resources, Core Lithium and many others.
Primero’s EPC and contract operations services at Alliance Minerals’ Bald Hill mine notably achieved nameplate capacity within two months of plant commissioning.
“Only spodumene project currently under development in the United States"
Primero managing director Cameron Henry said: “Piedmont is a world-class project surrounded by infrastructure and ideally located near potential customers in the USA’s auto alley.
“We are excited to continue the relationship we have established with Piedmont Lithium over the past three years and we look forward to applying our specialist expertise in project implementation and operations to assist Piedmont in advancing the only spodumene project currently under development in the United States."
Incentives to achieve safety
The EPC and operations contract models contemplated by the MOU provide incentives for Primero to achieve safety, schedule, budget, process performance, production, and recovery targets.
The arrangements contemplated by the MOU create a delivery framework which significantly reduces technical, operational and commercial risks associated with the concentrator.
Piedmont continues to evaluate other strategic partnerships that could enhance performance in the design, construction and operations of other aspects of Piedmont’s integrated lithium hydroxide business.