Liontown Resources Limited (ASX: LTR) has achieved another towards the development of its Kathleen Valley Lithium Project in WA with the successful completion of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and maiden Ore Reserve.
The company’s Managing Director, David Richards, said the robust financial outcomes of the PFS reflect the Project’s scale, grade, product quality and location close to established, modern infrastructure with the study establishing a strong foundation for further growth, optimisation and project upside.
The PFS includes a maiden Ore Reserve of 50.4 Mt @ 1.2% Li2O which will underpin a two Mtpa mining and processing operation over a 26-year mine life. The Reserve was based on the updated Mineral Resource Estimate published in July 2019 of 74.9 Mt @ 1.3% Li2O and 140ppm Ta2O5.
Mr Richards said there is considerable potential to extend the mine life and/or increase the annual production rate with recent results from an ongoing resource expansion drilling program extending thick, high-grade mineralisation at least 400m along strike from the Mineral Resource.
“This high-quality Pre-Feasibility Study builds on the Scoping Study completed earlier this year. It provides investors with a snapshot of what we are confident will be the first of a new-generation of Australian hard rock lithium projects, timed to benefit from the next wave of lithium demand,” Mr Richards said.
“The PFS outlines a robust two Mtpa project capable of delivering strong financial returns from an initial open pit mining operation. It will allow us to move into a Definitive Feasibility Study that will be based on an updated Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve that reflects the results of our ongoing drilling success and will also include other important project optimisations and enhancements.
“Kathleen Valley has all the ingredients to underpin a world-class battery metals business that we believe will deliver substantial returns and value for our shareholders for many decades to come.”
He added that it is envisaged that the financial outcomes demonstrated in the PFS will be further enhanced with the inclusion of a tantalum circuit and an optimised mine plan including potential underground operations that would allow early access to high-grade mineralisation and the opportunity to increase production. These will be considered as part of future feasibility studies.
Liontown’s 100%-owned Kathleen Valley Lithium Project is located on four granted Mining Licences approximately 680 km north-east of Perth and 400km north of Kalgoorlie in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
The Project is readily accessible by sealed highways which connect with mineral exporting ports at Geraldton and Esperance.
Other infrastructure located close to the Project includes a power line, a natural gas pipeline and mine camps with sealed airstrips capable of taking large passenger aircraft.
An updated MRE will be prepared in Q1/Q2 2020 and this will be incorporated into the DFS which will also consider the feasibility and economic impact of a concurrent underground mining operation.
Mr Richards said this will provide the opportunity to access the higher grade Mt Mann material through an underground operation, in the first few years of operation, reducing the size of the open pit with a commensurate reduction in strip ratio and also provides the opportunity to increase the annual mining rate.
Read more at https://www.ltresources.com.au/