Atlantic Lithium, the African-focused lithium exploration and development company targeting to deliver Ghana’s first lithium mine, has announced that Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has granted a mining lease in respect of the company’s flagship Ewoyaa Lithium Project, enabling the advancement of the project towards commercial production.
The mining lease terms, secured in the interests of all stakeholders through close cooperation with the government of Ghana, in line with establishing its new Green Minerals Policy, maintain the project’s position as one of the lowest capital and operating cost hard rock lithium projects globally. The terms also indicate strong commercial viability and exceptional profitability potential for a 2.7 Mtpa steady state operation, producing a total of 3.6 Mt of spodumene concentrate (approximately 350 000 tpa) over a 12-yr mine life:
- Ewoyaa to become one of the top 10 largest spodumene concentrate producers globally;
- Payback period of main processing plant of 9.5 months;
- C1 cash operating costs of US$377/t of concentrate Free-On-Board (FOB) Ghana Port, after by-product credits, All in Sustaining Cost (AISC) of US$675/t;
- Development cost estimate of US$185m; to be substantially funded by Piedmont Lithium and planned investment by Ghana’s sovereign wealth fund, the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF);
- Post-tax NPV of US$1.3bn, with free cash flow of US$2.1bn from Life of Mine (LOM) revenues of US$6.6bn.
The mining lease represents a considerable de-risking milestone in the development of the project.
This is the first mining lease to be granted for lithium in Ghana, demonstrating the government’s strong support in the company as its ‘partner of choice’ to deliver long-term lithium production and serving as a major landmark in the country’s efforts to reaffirm its status as a leading mining destination and establish itself as a key player in the global decarbonisation drive in Africa.
Atlantic Lithium has been granted exclusive rights to carry out mining and commercial production activities over the mining lease area for an initial 15-yr period, renewable in accordance with Ghanaian legislation.
The project will be funded by strategic partnerships with Piedmont Lithium and MIIF, with competitive offtake partnering process underway to secure project funding for a portion of the remaining 50% available feedstock.
Under the terms of the mining lease, the Atlantic Lithium has agreed to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange. Having been offered incentives by the government of Ghana, the company will be able to participate in further value addition by undertaking studies to assess the viability of the production of feldspar at Ewoyaa and for downstream conversion in Ghana, with the potential to significantly enhance shareholder value.
The company intends to outline the next steps regarding the Project’s development in the coming weeks.
Neil Herbert, Executive Chairman of Atlantic Lithium, commented:
“As the first company to be granted the opportunity for lithium mining in the country, the award of the mining lease for the Ewoyaa Lithium Project is auspicious for both Ghana and Atlantic Lithium. It serves as Ghana’s statement of intent to establish itself as a leading hub in Africa in the EV supply chain through the long-term production of lithium, with Atlantic Lithium as its partner of choice in this objective.
“The mining lease is a major endorsement of the project’s viability and a landmark de-risking milestone in its advancement towards production. The government of Ghana, which is eager to build upon its mining history that spans back over a century and diversify away from its long-standing gold production, has remained incredibly cooperative throughout our application process. We wholeheartedly welcome their support, alongside the intent shown by Ghana’s sovereign wealth fund, MIIF, at this pivotal moment.
“We believe that Ewoyaa will showcase the Central Region and Ghana more broadly as a highly attractive mining investment jurisdiction. As a first mover in Ghana, we look forward to working closely with our in-country partners to set an example for responsible, modern mining, delivering long-lasting benefits to all stakeholders in the process.
“We consider the project to be one of the industry’s leading lithium assets. Speaking on behalf of the entire Atlantic Lithium team, we are incredibly excited and proud to be playing such an important role in the development of Ghana’s economy, including the opportunity to support Ghana’s aspirations to further develop its lithium value chain.
“With our sights set on first production, work is now well underway to prepare Ewoyaa for shovel readiness. Meanwhile, we continue to de-risk and enhance the value of the project through further exploration. We look forward to sharing our progress on these activities in due course.”
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/20102023/ghana-awards-historic-first-mining-lease-for-lithium/