Lithium Chemical Plant
In tandem with the Arcadia PFS, the Company has initiated a PFS to evaluate the construction of a lithium chemical plant. The construction of a lithium chemical plant adjacent to the Arcadia mine has numerous benefits for both downstream consumers of lithium and the Company.
Processing of lithium chemicals from minerals is currently only carried out in China. Consumers have indicated a keenness to have geographical diversity of product. The lithium chemical market is also dominated by four major producers. The chemical plant at Arcadia Lithium Project provides an alternative source of feedstock for downstream lithium users.
The location of the Arcadia Lithium Project is close to key infrastructure such as electricity, waste and transport. Importantly, the project has regional access to the major consumables of coal and sulphuric acid required for the conversion process.
A major component of the cost of producing and delivering mineral concentrates to market is transport. With over 10 t of petalite and approximately 7 t of spodumene concentrate required to produce 1 t of lithium chemical product, transport costs are significantly reduced.
With reduced delivered concentrate costs, a major component of a chemical plant’s operating cost and close proximity to infrastructure and consumables, the vertically integrated approach from ore to lithium chemicals at site would indicate a higher value add proposition than solely producing mineral concentrates.
The Company has appointed a leading Engineering Consultancy to complete a detailed PFS study on the lithium chemical plant and the Company expects to release the results of this PFS during the third quarter of 2017.