The Study contemplates production and shipment of a lepidolite concentrate from Namibia to the chemical conversion plant to be built at the Kalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) in the United Arab Emirates that employs Lepidico’s proprietary process technologies, L-Max® and LOH-Max®.
The chemical conversion plant has a concentrate throughput capacity of 6.9tph (tonnes per hour), capable of producing 5,600tpa (tonnes per annum). Average annual P1P production is estimated at 4,900tpa of nominal battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate, along with a suite of both high- value and bulk by-products. Accounting for these other products as lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) gives implied total production of over 7,000tpa LCE. The relatively modest size of Phase 1 for a lithium chemical project is viewed as an important factor for the effective management of scale up, development and operating risks. Flexibility to produce lithium carbonate Is planned to be retrofitted to the plant in production year two.
Attractive investment fundamentals for the P1P include
an NPV8% of US$221 million (A$340 million) and an
Internal Rate of Return of 31% ungeared.
Operating costs for the Integrated Project after credits from by-products are competitive with an average C1 cost of US$1,656/t
LCE and an AISC of US$3,221/t.
Development capital of US$139 million includes a 13.6% contingency and is split approximately 30/70 between the mine and concentrator in Namibia, and the chemical conversion plant in Abu Dhabi.
Capital intensity is industry competitive at US$27,900/t LCE for an integrated hard rock project and just US$17,400/t LCE net of by-products.
Lithium hydroxide monohydrate represents 62% of the Project revenue under the assumptions used. The lithium hydroxide monohydrate price forecast has been provided by BMI, which averages $13,669/t over the Project life and reverts to a long-term real price of $12,910/t.