AIM-listed explorer and developer Kodal Minerals has announced a maiden mineral resource estimate of 17.3 Mt grading at 1.20% lithium at its flagship Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali, West Africa.
Mali – The maiden minerals resource of 17.3 Mt grading at 1.20% lithium in the inferred category is made up of Kodal Minerals three most advanced prospects:
- Sogola-Baoule: 10.4 Mt grading at 1.18% lithium;
- Ngoualana: 4.7 Mt grading at 1.34% lithium; and
- Boumou: 2.2 Mt grading at 1.01% lithium.
“This maiden mineral resource estimate is a major milestone in the advancement of the Bougouni lithium project as it confirms the potential for future mining development. The fact that the estimate is supported by initial engineering studies showing potential for a minimum 10 year mine life with low capital costs and robust economics is very encouraging,” says Kodal Minerals CEO Bernard Aylward.
“This mineral resource estimate places the project in the top 15 hard rock lithium projects worldwide. We have secured an offtake partner and we have strong commitments of support within Mali for the future mining development,” he adds.
Mining optimisation study
Moreover, Kodal Minerals has undertaken a preliminary open pit mining optimisation study to assist in the planning of future infill and extension drilling.
The study was completed using conservative inputs to ensure a robust project and demonstrate potential future mining. The mineralisation captured with in the optimised open pit shells totalled 13.7 Mt grading at 1.16% lithium.
While not an ore reserve statement, the mineralisation highlights areas where the optimised shells are resource constrained. The company says that these areas will be the focus for future drilling campaigns.
Separately from the mineral resource and optimisation study, Kodal Minerals has commissioned a processing review based on the ongoing metallurgical testwork for the Bougouni mineralisation.
This is considered an order of magnitude study and indicates a capital cost of A$14 million for a 1 Mtpa dense media separation plant component. A full plant will require a crushing circuit and additional materials handling components.
The processing review further indicates a potential production cost of US$400/t of spodumene concentrate, which compares to a current market selling price of between US$800/t and US$900/t.
The next stages of work at Bougouni will be the continued exploration and definition drilling, upgrade of the mineral resource estimate to indicated status, continued study on the open pit optimisation with a focus on reducing mining costs and final continued metallurgy studies to optimise the processing plant.