Piedmont Lithium (“Piedmont”, “Company”), a leading global developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle (“EV”) supply chain, today announced that Atlantic Lithium has completed a prefeasibility study (“PFS”) for Piedmont’s Ghana Project - Atlantic Lithium’s flagship Ewoyaa project located in the Cape Coast region of the country.
The PFS demonstrates a production target for the Ghana Project of approximately 255,000 tons per year of 6% lithium spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) over a 12.5-year mine life from Ore Reserves of 18.9 million tons at 1.24% Li2O.
Estimated capital costs for the project increased as part of the PFS. However, Atlantic Lithium expects operating expenditures at the planned production plant to decrease. CAPEX increased from US$70 million to US$125 million. Of the increase, US$27 million is attributed to Atlantic Lithium’s decision to bring crushing in-house for improved operational control and reduced lithium losses.
Piedmont Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Brindle said he was pleased with the results of the PFS as Piedmont continues to advance plans across its global portfolio of assets. “We expect the project in Ghana to play a critical role in our ability to ramp up production of lithium hydroxide in the United States. This proposed operation is underpinned by high-grade mineral resources, critical infrastructure, access to a deep-water port, and available labor,” explained Brindle. “The study also highlights Atlantic Lithium’s plans related to community engagement and environmental stewardship. The combination of robust economics and commitment to best-practices strengthens our Ghana Project’s position as an industry-leading asset, and we couldn’t be more excited for our partners at Atlantic Lithium.”
Piedmont is earning a 50% interest in Atlantic Lithium’s spodumene projects in Ghana. This agreement includes an offtake agreement for 50% of annual production at market prices on a life-of-mine basis. Piedmont also owns a 9.4% equity interest in Atlantic Lithium.
With the completion of the PFS, the Ghana Project will now advance to the next stage of studies and permitting. Exploration and infill drilling continue as Atlantic Lithium works to submit a mining license application and scoping level environmental and social impact assessment report to the Ghanaian government as next steps.
Atlantic Lithium is working toward a targeted first production of spodumene concentrate in Q3 2024, subject to receipt of a mining license within Q3 2023 and the project meeting all other statutory requirements.
When the Ghana Project is operational, Piedmont plans to import spodumene concentrate from the project to supply the Company’s newly announced Tennessee Lithium project for conversion to lithium hydroxide. The Ghana Project is near the deep-water port of Takoradi, which provides the benefit of simple transport logistics for bringing the material to Piedmont’s Tennessee plant.
Atlantic Lithium has several mechanisms to ensure the sustainable and effective implementation of health, safety, and environmental priorities for both employees and the community surrounding the Ghana Project. This includes documented plans, agreements, toolkits, and registers. Atlantic Lithium has actively engaged community members throughout the development of the project and will continue to do so to educate and inform on project plans, address concerns, and share local employment opportunities.