Cypress Development Corp. said Sept. 6 that a preliminary economic assessment for the Clayton Valley lithium project in Nevada pegged a net present value, discounted at 8%, of US$1.45 billion, an internal rate of return of 32.7% and a 2.7-year payback period.
The study for a 15,000-tonne-per-day operation used a base case price of US$13,000/t of lithium carbonate with a break-even price of US$4,800/t of lithium carbonate. It envisages a mine and mill at Clayton Valley, which incorporates a sulfuric acid plant as the main driver in costs.
An updated indicated resource of 3.83 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent contained in 831.0 million tonnes grading 867 parts per million lithium and 5.13 million tonnes of LCE contained in 1.12 billion tonnes grading 860 ppm in the inferred category was also incorporated in the study, which supports a 40-year mine life. The resource estimate used a 300-ppm cutoff grade.
Initial CapEx was pegged at US$482 million over two years, with preproduction and operating expenses pegged at US$3,983/t of LCE. Average production is targeted at 24,042 tonnes per year.
Further work, including bench scale testing, will be conducted to demonstrate recovery of the lithium product. The Canadian junior explorer will continue working on permitting and other areas to advance the project.