A preliminary economic assessment of LSC Lithium Corp.'s Pozuelos-Pastos Grandes project in Argentina estimated a net present value of US$762 million, discounted at 8%, with a 30% internal rate of return, both after taxes.
Initial production is anticipated in 2021, with steady state production slated for 2024.
Pozuelos-Pastos Grandes is expected to produce 20,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium carbonate for at least 20 years, with operating costs of US$2,994/t of lithium carbonate over the life of the mine.
The company said Dec. 4 that initial capital costs are pegged at US$337.6 million, including US$58.7 million in contingency, while annual free cash flows are estimated at approximately US$125 million. The base case in the study used a lithium carbonate price of US$12,000/t.
The two deposits host measured and indicated resources containing 2.6 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, comprising 1.7 million tonnes with an average grade of 505 milligrams per liter of lithium at Pozuelos, and 939,080 tonnes with an average grade of 464 mg/L at Pastos Grandes.
Combined inferred resources are estimated to host a total of 938,500 tonnes of LCE, with 631,000 tonnes at Pozuelos and 307,500 tonnes at Pastos Grandes.
LSC Lithium plans to build all infrastructure at the Pozuelos salt flat, where it controls more than 90% of the area, with only extraction wells and a pipeline to be located at Pastos Grandes.
The company, which aims to submit an environmental impact statement by the end of 2018, will undertake further pilot testing and geotechnical work ahead of a full feasibility study scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2019.