Deutsche Lithium GmbH, a subsidiary of Bacanora Minerals Ltd (Bacanora), has been granted an exploration licence covering 295 ha of the previously mined Falkenhain Lithium deposit in southern Saxony, Germany. According to Bacanora, Falkenhain, which is located within 5 km of Bacanora's 50% owned Zinnwald Lithium Project, has the potential to increase the life time of a mine at Zinnwald in eastern Germany.
The company has published a new corporate presentation and corporate video on its website following the recent publication of a Feasibility Study (FS) which estimates a Net Present Value of US$1.25 billion and Internal Rate of Return of 26% for the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico.
As with Zinnwald, Falkenhain lies in a geological setting of granite hosted Sn/W/Li belts that have been explored and mined historically for tin, tungsten and lithium. Historical exploration data indicates additional resources at Falkenhain hosted in several ore bodies containing lithium, tin metal and tungsten.
Deutsche Lithium plans to explore the deposit over the next five years and to combine its exploration and development with Zinnwald. A 5-year Exploration Licence was issued to Deutsche Lithium by the Saxony State Mining Authority (Sächsisches Oberbergamt) in accordance with section 7 of the German Mining Act (Bundesberggesetz).
Zinnwald - Lithium-Project Update
A FS is underway at Zinnwald to develop a strategy to demonstrate the economic viability of producing higher value lithium products for the European battery and automotive sectors. The following work has been completed or is ongoing:
- Resource infill drilling programme comprising 15 infill drill holes and 4 458 m to upgrade the existing resource model in accordance with NI 43-101 completed earlier than expected on 27 December 2017.
- Chemical analysis of the drill cores will be completed in 1Q18 and the results will be incorporated into a 3D-model of the Zinnwald deposit.
- Collection of a 100 t bulk ore sample from the underground mine at Zinnwald to provide samples for metallurgical testwork.
- Material has been crushed and sent to metallurgical laboratories in Germany.
- Grinding, magnetic separation and concentration testwork programmes will be completed in January and final grinding will be carried out in 1Q18.
- Chemical processing (roasting, leaching, precipitation) will now be carried out to develop the final flowsheet to produce downstream lithium compounds, focusing on the production of higher value lithium battery chemical products.
The Falkenhain and Zinnwald lithium projects complement Bacanora's flagship Sonora Lithium Project (Sonora) in Mexico, which is one of the world's larger and scalable lithium deposits.
A favourable FS, which estimated a NPV8 of US$1.253 billion and IRR of 26% for Sonora, was completed in December 2017. The FS, which is focussed on an initial operation capable of delivering 17 500 tpy of high quality battery-grade Li2CO3, followed by an expansion to 35 000 t Li2CO3/yr confirms that Sonora occupies a position on the industry cost curve similar to the low-cost brine deposits in South America. The company is aiming to commence the construction phase at Sonora in the first half of 2018 with first production targeted for 2019/2020.
Bacanora CEO, Peter Secker, said: "The issue of the exploration licence is a key milestone for Bacanora's activities in Germany. Falkenhain will supplement our two significant lithium assets at Zinnwald and Sonora, each of which have the potential to become major suppliers of high value products to fast growing end markets, such as electric vehicles and energy storage, in the strategically important European and Asian lithium markets. With an NPV8 of US$1.25 billion and an IRR of 26%, the recent FS for Sonora in Mexico demonstrates the company-making potential of our most advanced project. We are focussed on building a portfolio of world class projects, and with this in mind I look forward to providing further updates on the ongoing FS at Zinnwald."