The company stated that the PEA report provides support for Advantage Lithium to "proceed with development plans for 20ktpa capacity stand-alone Lithium Carbonate plant located at its Cauchari Joint-Venture project in the province of Jujuy, Argentina."
The company noted the following key points:
- US$830 Million after-tax Net Present Value at 8% discount rate and Internal Rate of Return of 24.0 % for 20,000 Tons per year production of lithium carbonate. (Pre-Tax Net Present Value - $1,321 Million)
- Pre-production Capital Expenditure estimate of US$ 401 million for a 20,000 Tons Per Year operation
- Operating Expenses of $3,667/ton of lithium carbonate average after production ramp-up
- Processing facilities design based on proven solar evaporation technology and conventional lithium brine processing, leveraging JV partner Orocobre Ltd.'s (ORL:TSX; ORE:ASX) project development experience
- Mine life of 25 years including a 3-year ramp up for 20,000 tons per year production scenario based on conversion factors applied to 3 Metric Tons resource published in May 2018
- Cauchari resource conversion to Measured and Indicated well underway with DFS to commence imminently with completion scheduled in Q2 2019, both fully funded by the AAL/Orocobre Joint Venture
- The resource is open to the south and at depth, with potential to add significant tonnage with additional exploration, including in the deep sand unit
David Sidoo, CEO and founder of Advantage Lithium, commented, "We are very pleased that we have advanced our Cauchari JV from exploration through to a completed PEA in just over a year. The positive results first summarized in our news release of August 14 are now backed up with an independent study report that reflects the rapid advancement of the project engineering supported by Worley Parsons."
Sidoo noted that this "confirms the potential of Cauchari JV as a robust project with operating costs expected to be in the lower quarters of the industry cost curve."
The company also reported that it is progressing on schedule with phase 3 drilling and well testing programs. "The results from this work are required to support resource to reserve conversion and to achieve our target Definitive Feasibility Study which will commence in early October and planned for completion by Q2 2019," Sidoo stated.
The company noted that the economic results for the project have been updated to reflect an improvement in the tax regime in Argentina with lower tax rates that were not reflected in the initial PEA announcement of August.
"The economic analysis is based on brine grades and lithium volume estimated from the company's published Inferred Mineral Resource only," stated the company. "Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that the Cauchari project evaluation envisioned by the PEA will be realized. The PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves."
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