Since acquiring the Bougouni lithium project in Mali in late-2016, AIM-listed Kodal Minerals has implemented an accelerated exploration and development programme aimed at advancing the project into production in as short a timeframe as practicable.
Last week, the company announced recent developments regarding its mining licence application that is in current in progress.
Kodal Minerals reported that a committee meeting was been held in Bamako, Mali, at the Direction Nationale de la Geologie et des Mines (DNGM) to review the feasibility study and proposed mining development for Bougouni.
The company has received confirmation that the feasibility study and mining development plan have been ratified and approved by the DNGM committee, subject to the Kodal Minerals making some minor corrections to bring the mining licence application in line with the new Mali Mining Code of 2019. The company is expecting to receive a formal notification from the DNGM requesting payment of the mining licence fee prior to the formal production of the “Exploitation Decree” (mining licence) for approval by the Prime Minister.
Perfect time to be in lithium market
Bernard Aylward, CEO of Kodal Minerals, commented, “We are very pleased with this development in our mining licence application, which again confirms the high standard and full range of our completed feasibility study and mining plan at Bougouni. We continue to work closely with the DNGM and Mali government representatives to finalise the grant of the mining licence as soon as possible. This will be a major milestone for Kodal and one which will significantly de-risk our project as it will then be fully permitted to commence site development works.
“This application process has taken longer than originally anticipated due to outside influences in the year of 2020; however, it is very positive timing for Kodal Mineral to be in control of a high-quality, pre-production lithium asset with the market dynamics as compelling as they are now. Kodal continues to monitor the lithium market and notes that the lithium price has risen strongly from its lows in 2020 and further, that there is widespread analyst consensus of supply deficits from as early as next year.
“The powerful lithium demand drivers linked to battery production include government stimulus, as well as from major vehicle manufacturers and public utilities, and we believe that the Bougouni project is ideally positioned to capitalise on this window of opportunity to become a strategically located high-grade and low-cost lithium producer in the near term.”
Bougouni covers an area of 350km2 and is located approximately 180km south of Bamako, the capital of Mali and benefits from established infrastructure via a sealed road from Bamako. The project has the potential to host multiple open pit lithium mining operations. Kodal Minerals has a significant lithium footprint in southern Mali which, in addition to its flagship Bougouni project, also includes the 200 km2 Bougouni West project and the 109 km2 Diendio project. Collectively, the company has a land holding of over 800 km2 in Mali, making it the largest lithium developer in West Africa in terms of acreage.