By Hilary Mare
THE Phase 1 flotation plant at TSX-listed Desert Lion Energy’s Namibian lithium operations is estimated to cost about N$69 million.
The plant, with a processing capacity of between 350 000 t/y and 400 000 t/y, will be used to process the fines from the historic run-of-mines stockpiles at Desert Lion’s Rubicon and Helikon mines.
“The Phase 1 flotation plant is a critical component of our execution strategy, allowing us to continue to generate cash and systematically de-risk the project. The low capital cost intensity of the Phase 1 flotation plant further demonstrates the jurisdictional and asset-specific benefits of the Desert Lion Energy Lithium project,” president and CEO Tim Johnston commented.
The capital cost estimate for the plant was determined by Tulela Processing Solutions.
Desert Lion last December announced that the company had begun production of lithium concentrate, on time and in line with management’s Phase I production plan.
The concentrate was produced from stockpiled material at the company’s lithium project in Namibia, which is located approximately 30 kilometres southeast of Karibib and 210km southeast of Windhoek.
There are approximately 700 000 tonnes (kt) of stockpiled material and 100kt of fines located on Desert Lion’s exclusive prospect license that will be processed over the next 12 months.
“We are extremely excited about this milestone, which marks Phase I of the company’s production plan,” commented Tim Johnston at the time
“With this first production of lithium concentrate, we transition from a lithium explorer and developer to producer, and we are well positioned to become Namibia’s first large-scale lithium mining operation.”
Following the production of lithium concentrate from stockpiled material, Desert Lion will commence production of lithium concentrate from in situ ore, which is expected to commence in the second half of 2019. This production schedule will be based on the results of a preliminary economic assessment, which the company plans to publish in the second quarter of 2018.
Desert Lion Energy Corp. is a lithium developer and producer focused on building Namibia’s first large-scale lithium mine. The company’s Lithium Project is located within a 301 km2 prospective land package, with known lithium bearing pegmatitic mineralization and is currently in Phase 1 of its production plan, processing material and exporting lithium concentrate from stockpiles.
The project site is accessible year-round by road and has access to power, water, rail, port, airport and communication infrastructure. Desert Lion has entered into an agreement with Camex Energy Corp. to complete an amalgamation and reserve take-over of Camex Energy Corp. Desert Lion Energy Corp. expects to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (Venture) in early 2019.
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