AVZ Minerals Ltd. said it intends to proceed to a full feasibility study at its Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after a scoping study outlined a net present value of US$1.6 billion, at a discount rate of 10%, with an internal rate of return of greater than 90%.
Annual production will be about 440,000 tonnes per annum at a minimum of 5.8% lithium oxide from throughput of 2 million tonnes per annum over a 20-year mine life.
CapEx for the project is estimated at US$150 million to US$160 million, and operating costs are estimated at about US$355 per tonne.
AVZ Minerals said Oct. 9 that further studies for throughput of 4 mtpa and 10 mtpa are in progress.
The company did not take into account the potential for tin byproducts but plans to do so in a full feasibility study, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.
In August, the company estimated a maiden mineral resource at Manono of 259.9 million tonnes grading 1.63% lithium oxide, 844 parts per million tin and 43 ppm tantalum.