Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) has confirmed that Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has granted a mining lease for the Ewoyaa Lithium Project, which is being developed by Piedmont and its partner, Atlantic Lithium Limited.
The mining lease provides exclusive rights to carry out lithium mining and commercial production activities for an initial 15-year period and is renewable in accordance with Ghanaian legislation.
The issuance of the mining lease is subject to ratification by the Ghanaian parliament and follows last month’s announcement by the Minerals Income Investment Fund of Ghana (MIIF) of its plans to invest (1) $27.9 million to acquire a 6% stake in Ewoyaa and (2) an additional $5 million in Atlantic Lithium to help further, in part, the development of Ewoyaa. Prior to starting construction, an approval by the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana also will be required. Atlantic Lithium expects the Ewoyaa permitting process to be finalised in H2 2024.
Piedmont Lithium Chief Operating Officer and Atlantic Lithium Non-Executive Director Patrick Brindle said receipt of the mining lease marks a significant step toward production and reflects Ghana’s interest in becoming a global resource for lithium concentrate.
We are excited for our partner Atlantic Lithium, and we thank the project team and the Minerals Commission for their diligent efforts throughout the application process. The issuance of Ghana’s first mining lease for lithium demonstrates clear support for the Ewoyaa Lithium Project and the opportunity it presents for the country and local communities,” said Brindle.
“This milestone also reinforces Piedmont’s plans to utilise Ewoyaa material as feedstock for the proposed 30,000 metric ton per year Tennessee-based lithium hydroxide conversion facility.”
Piedmont owns a 9% equity interest in Atlantic Lithium, and in August announced that it exercised its option to acquire an initial 22.5% interest in Ewoyaa, subject to government approvals.
Piedmont has a right to earn an additional 27.5% interest in the Project, subject to satisfying certain funding requirements, which would result in Piedmont and Atlantic Lithium each owning 50% of Ewoyaa, exclusive of the expected MIIF investment and the Ghanaian government’s carried interest.
Piedmont also holds an offtake agreement to purchase 50% of lithium concentrate production at Ewoyaa on a market-based pricing mechanism for the life of the mine.