Dual-listed Namibian lithium developer and emerging lithium concentrate producer Desert Lion Energy’s off-take partner, Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium Co., has cleared the first 30 000 t shipment of lithium concentrate and will shortly begin processing the product at their facility in China.
Namibia – Desert Lion Energy expects to deliver an additional 60 000 t of lithium concentrate from its sorting operations by the end of the third quarter of 2018, ahead of the anticipated start of production from the floatation plant in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Desert Lion Energy entered into a binding offtake agreement with Chinese lepidolite converter Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium Co. in March to acquire all the lithium concentrate from Phase 1 production of stockpiled material that contains not less than 2.0% lithium oxide (Li2O) and up to a maximum of 120 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate containing not less than 1.7% Li2O located on Desert Lion Energy’s Rubicon and Helikon properties in Namibia.
Management estimates that there are approximately 700 000 – 750 000 t of stockpiled material located on the Rubicon and Helikon properties that will produce approximately 150 000 – 160 000 t of lithium concentrate for sale to Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium Co. under the agreement over the next 12 to 18 months.
Mineral resource estimate and PEA under way
Moreover, Desert Lion Energy is currently completing work on its mineral resource estimate (MRE) and preliminary economic assessment (PEA), which is expected to be complete in the second half of August 2018.
The MRE will focus on exploration work conducted at the historic Rubicon and Helikon mines, including the 20 000 m drill programme concluded earlier this year, and the PEA will contain economics on all of the proposed phases of Desert Lion Energy’s production plan.
Following the production of lithium concentrate from stockpiled material in December 2017, Desert Lion Energy will commence production of lithium concentrate from in situ ore, which is expected to commence in the second half of 2019.