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 June 2021, Firefinch announced the execution of a binding term sheet 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.
Ganfeng will make cash investments of US$130 million. The funds will be invested into Mali Lithium BV, which will hold Firefinch’s interest in Goulamina and in return, Ganfeng will earn a 50% JV interest in MLB. These funds, together with up to US$64 million in debt funding, which is to be arranged by Ganfeng, are expected to fund Goulamina into production.
As announced on 9 February 2021, Firefinch intends to demerge its interest in Goulamina into a separate lithium-focussed entity to be listed on the ASX. This will not occur until the Transaction has been completed and Ganfeng has made its Initial Investment. At that time, Firefinch will assign to the new publicly listed demerged company Firefinch’s rights to manage Goulamina. Ganfeng has undertaken to support the Proposed Demerger. Firefinch shareholders are expected to receive a pro rata allocation of shares in LithiumCo with further details to be provided in due course.
- 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