Mining company Piedmont Lithium has agreed to provide funding for the Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana, in exchange for a 22.5% stake.
As part of its agreement with project owner Atlantic Lithium, Piedmont Lithium is now exercising its option to acquire a 50% stake in the project as per its contract with Atlantic back in July 2021.
In accordance with the terms, Piedmont will initially purchase a 22.5% interest in the project, having funded the definitive feasibility study (DFS).
To acquire the remaining 27.5% stake, it plans to invest $70m more towards the development capital.
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It has also committed to share the remaining project capital costs equally with Atlantic, towards the total cost of $185m. The total amount to be contributed by Piedmont is estimated to be around $128m.
Piedmont’s investment awaits final governmental and regulatory approvals. The company expects that it will be able to fund the project through the sale of lithium concentrate from an offtake deal with North American Lithium.
Piedmont president and CEO Keith Phillips said: “We are pleased to help advance the progression of Ewoyaa as a key part of Piedmont Lithium’s global portfolio and the expected feedstock for our planned lithium hydroxide conversion facility in Tennessee.
“Our partners at Atlantic Lithium have made tremendous progress with positive project economics recently published in a definitive feasibility study and minerals lease discussions that are progressing with Ghana’s Minerals Commission.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Atlantic Lithium to support the project toward first production, currently targeted for 2025.”
The Ewoyaa project is located in the Cape Coast region of Ghana, with its construction expected to begin by the end of next year.
As per the DFS, the project will have a 12-year mine life, producing at a steady rate of 2.7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The total production of spodumene concentrate is estimated to be around 3.6mt.
Ewoyaa is expected to bring a post-tax net present value of $1.5bn, with a free cash flow of $2.4bn through life-of-mine revenues of around $6.6bn.