Birimian Ltd. started a pre-feasibility study on its Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali after a scoping study confirmed its "outstanding potential."
The scoping study outlined the development of an open pit at the Goulamina deposit in two phases, with annual production of 190,000 tonnes of 6% lithium oxide concentrate over an initial 13-year mine life at an average cash cost of US$326 per tonne.
Total capital costs were estimated at US$83.4 million, which includes a US$10.9 million contingency and initial start-up costs of US$47.2 million for stage-one operations, according to the company's Jan. 31 statement.
Stage-two capital costs were pegged at US$36.2 million, which could be funded from stage-one cash flow.
The study was based on an initial resource estimate completed in October 2016 for the Goulamina deposit, comprising indicated and inferred resources totaling 15.5 million tonnes grading 1.48% Li2O.
Earlier in January, Birimian's plans to sell the Bougouni project for A$107.5 million to Shandong Mingrui Group fell through.
In addition, a group of the company's shareholders recently called for a general meeting to vote on the removal of Chairman Winton Willesee and director Hugh Bresser, with Michael Langford and James McKay to be appointed as directors.