Lithium Power International Announces Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for Maricunga JV Project
West Perth, WA / December 19, 2017 / JMN Wire / Lithium Power International Limited (ASX: LPI) (“LPI” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide details of the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Maricunga lithium brine project in northern Chile by the Maricunga joint venture company, Minera Salar Blanco (MSB).
Lithium Power International’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin Holland, commented:
“Release of the PEA is a very important step towards becoming a lithium producer. The study demonstrates a very positive and robust outcome that justifies completion of a full feasibility study. The operating expenditure estimate places Maricunga in the lower quartile on the cost curve, at US$2,938/t (excluding KCl). The project has a payback of less than three years. It’s important to state that the high level of detail in this study meets international standards.”
- The Maricunga Lithium Brine project’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) supports 20,000 tonnes per annum (t/a) production of lithium carbonate (LCE) and 74,000t/a potassium chloride fertilizer (KCl) over 20 years.
- Project NPV is estimated to be US$1.049B before tax at 8% discount rate, providing an IRR of 23.4%.
- Payback in 2 years and 11 months based on a 2-year ramp up period.
- Project operating cost places Maricunga among most efficient producers with lithium carbonate production cost of US$2,938 per tonne (/t) FOB in Chile, reducing to US$2,635/t with credits from KCl by-product.
- Project development cost estimated at US$366M (LPI’s 50% share estimated at US$183M) excluding KCl (US$23M), plus indirect costs of 14.2% (US$55M) and 18.6% (US$83M) contingency.
- The project is progressing to a feasibility study, providing improved certainty regarding reserves, metallurgical design, equipment and operational risks.
- Conventional evaporation pond and process technology to minimise operational risks.
- PEA completed by Tier-1 engineering consultancy WorleyParsons to international standards. Accuracy of operating and capital cost estimates expected within a +/- 25% range.