Goulamina Lithium Project
The Goulamina Lithium Project comprises a land holding of 100 km2 covering highly prospective hard rock lithium pegmatites in the Bougouni Region of southern Mali, approximately 150km by road from Mali’s capital, Bamako.
The Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) described a compelling long life, large-scale, hard rock open pit lithium mine in Mali, West Africa. It confirms that the project is one of the world’s best hard rock lithium assets, especially in terms of scale and cost of production when compared to current operations and prospective projects, delivering outstanding returns with a pre-tax NPV of A$1.7 billion.
A key advantage is the quality of the 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate (SC6) product, being high in grade and very low in iron and mica impurities.
Goulamina is simple and robust, with high grades and low strip ratios enhancing financial performance. The Project delivers outstanding returns and, unlike peers, delivers good returns even at todays depressed lithium prices. The Project is not dependant on credits from other minerals.
There is considerable potential to increase the size of open pit Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves through infill and extension drilling. These characteristics make Goulamina an important strategic asset for the world’s growing demand for lithium.
On 16 August 2021, Firefinch announced the execution of a suite of full form legal agreements with a subsidiary of the world’s largest lithium producer by production capacity, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd, to establish a 50:50 incorporated joint venture to develop and operate the world-class Goulamina Lithium Project. To obtain a 50% interest in the JV, Ganfeng will provide up to US$194 million in funding, comprising US$130 million in equity in two instalments, and by arranging up to US$64 million in debt, to construct the project and take it into production.
Firefinch and Ganfeng have now appointed Lycopodium to execute an update of the October 2020 DFS (Updated DFS), which will support Goulamina Final Investment Decision (FID). In light of the prevailing strong lithium market conditions, Firefinch and Ganfeng have agreed to expedite FID, and are now targeting completion of the Updated DFS and FID in the December Quarter, 2021.
Firefinch intends to demerge its interest in Goulamina into a separate asx-listed lithium-focussed entity which will be called Leo Lithium. On implementation of the demerger, Firefinch shareholders will receive a pro-rata entitlement of shares in Leo Lithium by way of an in-specie distribution (at no cost). It is also currently intended that Leo Lithium will raise additional capital via an entitlement offer to existing shareholders in parallel with its application for listing. The entitlement ratio, the pricing and quantum of the entitlement offer will be determined closer to the date of the demerger.
- Ore grade averages 1.6% Li2O in the first 5 years and 1.51% for the Life of Mine (LoM), one of the highest-grade deposits globally
- Recovery of Li2O is 77%, again one of the best among peers
- Iron and mica impurities are low, lower than peers which results in a preferred product for customers
- At an average LoM All in Sustaining Cost (AISC) of US$306 per tonne of 6% spodumene concentrate produced, one of the lowest costs globally
- Capital costs are low with capital intensity being among the lowest globally
- The Ore Reserve is entirely open pit making for straightforward and low risk mining
- Processing is simple and low cost given a flotation only approach
- Simple, robust and high grades and low strip ratios enhances profitability
- Average Spodumene concentrate production of over 436,000 tonnes per annum of concentrate places Goulamina as one of the largest lithium developments in the world
Substantial Mine Life:
- Minimum 23 year mine life and conversion of additional Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves and Resource potential will likely extend this