BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
AUSTRALIA-LISTED mining concern, Prospect Resources, has commenced production at its Arcadia Lithium project following the completion of its pilot plant on schedule and within budget, the company has said.
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 the construction and operation of the pilot plant is purposed to the production of high purity petalite samples for Prospect’s future technical customer base.
The company expects to deliver technical grade petalite products to customers in June.
“We have successfully demonstrated our capability to deliver this project in Zimbabwe. We now look forward to delivering high purity lithium products to the downstream supply chain to complete respective product qualification processes,” Hosack said in a statement.
“The development and operation of the Pilot Plant allows us to substantially reduce metallurgical risk for Arcadia, whilst demonstrating our ability to successfully operate in our jurisdiction, delivering increased confidence in the outcomes of existing technical study work and projected economics.
“While lithium demand forecasts continue to be revised upwards, the supply base is falling further behind. Having secured all requisite development approvals, completed a Definitive Feasibility Study, and now producing high purity lithium samples, Arcadia is one of the very few shovel-ready lithium projects globally,” he said.
The company said its personnel have successfully delivered the pilot plant through design, construction, commissioning and now into production on schedule and budget.
Initial production from the pilot plant is expected to extend three months, with the opportunity to continue generating samples beyond that in-line with demand.
“Prospect is now focused on utilising the high purity petalite samples from the pilot plant, and spodumene samples produced in a partner laboratory, to achieve final production qualification with customers,” the statement reads in part.
Prospect said it is now focused on utilising the high purity petalite samples from the pilot plant, and spodumene samples produced in a partner laboratory, to achieve final production qualification with customers.
The company said it is progressing engagement with a range of strategic groups from across Japan, China and Europe in recent months who have an interest in spodumene offtake and assisting with the development of the project.
“Prospect is looking forward to welcoming offtake partner Sinomine Resources, as well as Presidential representatives from various government ministries to site on 30 June to preside over the first delivery of the product to Sinomine Resources,” it said.
Prospect is one of four key lithium developers that have taken an interest in the country’s resource.
Development has been boosted by a boom on the international market where lithium has gained significance in the production of batteries for the auto industry.
Most of the high demand has come from Chinese markets.