PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will later this month preside over the first production of lithium at Arcadia Lithium project whose pilot plant is now 92 percent complete in terms of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) scope.
The Arcadia Lithium project is situated near Harare and is owned by Prospect Resources, which targets to start production before the end of this month.
In a statement, Prospect said EPC milestones completed on schedule and budget include flowsheet and detailed engineering, procurement of equipment, power supply connection and reticulation on site and ore stockpile prepared to feed crushing circuit.
Earthworks and civil works have been completed and laboratory and camp site are ready are for pilot plant operation while pre-assembled Dense Medium Separation (DMS) unit is on route to site.
“Pilot plant development works progressing on schedule and on budget with approximately 92 percent complete on EPC scope.
“Prospect is pleased to announce that His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe Dr E.D Mnangagwa is expected to preside over the first production of high purity petalite from the pilot plant, which is expected in June (this month),”
said the company.
“The company looks forward to welcoming the President, Government officials and existing offtake partners to site for the ceremony.”
The mining concern has appointed an operations team for the pilot plant with key personnel holding significant lithium operational experience.
Prospect managing director, Mr Sam Hosack, was quoted as saying:
“The Arcadia project team has continued to meet the development timeline and I’m pleased to announce that we have completed approximately 92 percent of the works required to commence production at our pilot plant.
“With lithium market sentiment and prices having increased through 2021, a strong cash balance and the company being shovel-ready to develop the Arcadia project, Prospect is well positioned to make the transition to development and production.”
The company’s off-take partner, Sibelco N.V., the world’s largest industrial minerals solutions company, requested additional tonnes over and above the original planned 200 tonnes so that they can seek qualification with a greater number of customers across Europe and Asia.
The early delivery of product will ensure homologation can be achieved in the customers’ production process and will establish clear additional demand for the product within the industry, which will assist Prospect in leveraging the value of the Arcadia project as the world leader in supply of this and its high quality spodumene products.
Last August, Prospect announced that it had secured a seven-year agreement with Sibelco to supply petalite from its Arcadia Lithium project.
The agreement will see the company supplying 700 000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of high quality, ultra-low iron petalite concentrate during the tenure of the agreement.
The pact is for up to 100 000dmt per annum of high quality, ultra-low iron petalite concentrate while the pricing formula for the agreement is linked to the end customer sales contracts with minimum pricing provisions.
Prospect has said 100 percent of its 2019 Definitive Feasibility Study petalite production for the first seven years was now covered by offtake agreements. — @okazunga