Prospect Resources has completed a prefeasibility study (PFS) at the Arcadia lithium project in Zimbabwe.
Based on the findings, the company noted that an investment of around $52.5m will be required to bring the project into production by the end of next year.
It is claimed that PFS results have backed the company’s aim to become a significant producer of quality spodumene, petalite and tantalite concentrates in the near-term through development of the Arcadia project.
Based on maiden ore reserves of 15.8Mt, at 1.34% lithium oxide and 125ppm Ta2O5, the project will be developed into a 1.2Mtpa mining and processing operation with a mine-life of 15 years.
Prospect Resources chairman Hugh Warner said: “In the space of less than a year, we have developed Arcadia to a stage where we have defined a globally significant deposit containing highly sought after lithium products in spodumene and petalite.
“We are now confident that Arcadia will have the ability to produce battery grade lithium, glass and ceramic grade lithium and tantalite products to the market by late-2018.”
“Following government environmental and financial approvals and coupled with the excellent results of this PFS, the development of Arcadia can now be fast-tracked.”
The company intends to sign offtake agreements and secure funding to develop the asset.
According to the PFS, the Arcadia project is expected to have an internal rate of return of 39%, and a pre-tax net present value of $139m, with projected mine revenues of $2bn over the life of the project.
Furthermore, the company is evaluating the establishment of a lithium carbonate and hydroxide chemical plant at the Arcadia project, with another ongoing PFS expected to be completed in the third quarter this year.