Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
AUSTRALIA-LISTED mining group, Prospect Resources, has started lithium production at its newly developed Arcadia Mine under a pilot plant project.
The Arcadia lithium project is situated in Goromonzi near Harare. Prospect Resources recently announced the completion of construction and commissioning of the Arcadia Lithium pilot plant project, marking the commencement of production.
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.
“Company 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,” said the company.
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 company is progressing engagement with a range of strategic groups in Japan, China and Europe in recent months who have an interest in spodumene offtake and assisting with 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 first delivery of product to Sinomine Resources,” said the company in latest update.
Prospect managing director Mr Sam Hosack was quoted as saying the business has successfully demonstrated its capability to deliver the project in Zimbabwe.
“We now look forward to delivering high purity lithium products to the downstream supply chain to complete respective product qualification processes,” he said.
Mr Hosack said the development and operation of the pilot plant allows them to substantially reduce metallurgical risk for Arcadia, while demonstrating the ability to successfully operate in their 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. — @okazunga.