UK-based exploration and development company Kodal Minerals has submitted a mining licence application for its Bougouni lithium project in Mali.

The Bougouni project comprises the Kolassokoro and Madina concessions, which cover a contiguous area of 500km².

Kodal Minerals completed a feasibility study to submit the mining licence application for the project to the Mali Government.

Lodged with the Mines Department, Direction Nationale de la Géologie et des Mines (DNGM), the application covers a proposed open-pit mining and processing operation at Bougouni.

It represents a minimum mine life of 8.5 years and indicates the mine producing on average 220,000tpa of 6% spodumene concentrate, at a life-of-mine (LoM) lithium average metallurgical recovery of 71%, based on laboratory metallurgical recoveries of 75%.

The feasibility study also shows that the LoM will produce 1.94Mt of concentrate.

Kodal Minerals noted that the LoM revenue exceeds $1.4bn, with an initial concentrate sales price of $680 per tonne based on operations beginning in the second half of next year, thereafter, increasing 2% year-on-year.

The study also considered the proposed 2Mtpa processing plant using a conventional flotation circuit to maximise spodumene recovery.

Kodal Minerals CEO Bernard Aylward said: “The lodging of the application marks the culmination of a period of intensive work by our project development team, led by Steve Zaninovich, and highlights the viability of a commercial mining operation at the project.”

“The current project design captures approximately 16Mt of ore from our announced 21Mt resource base, representing a very good conversion, and we expect to be able to add to our defined resources through further drilling.”

In November 2019, the company received approval for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) application for the lithium project.

In the same month, Kodal Minerals secured two new exploration licences, Fariedele and Sogola Nord, covering 150km² of the Bougouni project.