Lithium pilot plant 92% complete

BY STAFF WRITER

LITHIUM miner Prospect Resources says it has completed approximately 92% of work required to commence production at its Arcadia pilot plant in Zimbabwe.

Prospect is developing a lithium project at Arcadia, located on the outskirts of Harare, which is one of the most advanced lithium projects globally.

The project has secured offtake partners and established a clear pathway towards production.

Managing director Sam Hosack said this week the project had met targets and he was “pleased to announce that we have completed approximately 92% of the works required to commence production at our pilot plant.”

“With lithium market sentiment and prices having increased through 2021, a strong cash balance and the company being shovel-ready to develop the Arcadia project, Prospect is well positioned to make the transition to development and production,” he said.

Prospect has appointed the operations team for the pilot plant, with key personnel holding significant lithium operational experience.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to preside over the first production of high purity petalite from the pilot plant, which is expected this month.

The company said its offtake partner, Sibelco, had requested additional tonnes over the original plan.

“The early delivery of product will ensure homologation can be achieved in the customers’ production process and will establish clear additional demand for the product within the industry which will assist Prospect in leveraging the value of the Arcadia project as the world leader in supply of this and it’s high quality spodumene products,” it said.

Prospect is one of about four key lithium developers that have taken an interest in the country’s resource.

Development has been boosted by a boom on the international markets where lithium has gained significance in the production of batteries for the auto industry.

Most of the high demand has come from Chinese markets.