Saturday, November 3, 2018

Great Excitement: Namibia To Mine Lithium


    Canadian company extracting Lithium along Damara Belt at the mine site next to Karibib. 
Desert Lion Energy Company is a Canadian based mining exploration firm which has offices at 65 Queen Street West, Toronto in Canada and Lazarett House Offices at Lazarett Street in Windhoek, Namibia. The company announced the report on the results of the Company's Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Namibian Lithium project. The PEA covers mining activities, costs, concentrate and lithium carbonate production. The PEA was prepared by independent consultants, Hatch Ltd, and the MSA Group (Pty) Ltd, that prove the veracity and good prosperity of Lithium mining in Namibia. 

The company holds an 80% interest in the project, within its exclusive prospecting license (EPL), which covers 301km2 (EPL 5439) in the southern central zone of the Damara Belt and consists of three past producing mines. The mine site is located approximately 20 km from the town of Karibib and some 220 km from the Port of Walvis Bay that connected via the national highway and state-owned railway.   The company has already begun conducting production test of lithium concentrate from stockpiled material in last year, December 2017.  The plans to commence a full production of lithium concentrate from in situ ore (i.e. Phase II production), which is expected to begin at the end of 2019.

Project Highlights
  • Cash cost of lithium carbonate of US$4 080/t and lepidolite (lithium) concentrate of $141/t, in each case including by-product credits. 
  • Initial direct capital costs of $275 million for mine, concentrator and lithium carbonate conversion plant, including by-product circuits (including a contingency of $43 million (15%)).
  •  Low capital intensity for lithium carbonate of $13 750/annual tonne of production of battery grade lithium carbonate.
  • $144 million pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate). 
  • 29% pre-tax internal rate of return. 
  • The payback period of ~2.5 years. 
  • Life of mine revenues of $852 million 
  • Average sales price of $13 000/t of lithium carbonate 
Tim Johnston, CEO of Desert Lion Energy comments, "We are very pleased with the results of the preliminary economic assessment which confirm management's belief in the benefits associated with the project's at or near surface mineralization, proximity to high quality existing infrastructure and the low-cost operating environment in Namibia.” “The PEA demonstrates the compelling economics of the project, highlighted by low capital costs, low operating costs, and high earnings.


The vertically integrated plant encompasses the development of a mine, concentrator and lithium carbonate plant capable of producing 20 000 tpa of battery grade lithium carbonate. By-products include 35 250 t of petalite concentrate per year and 290 t of tantalum concentrate per year. The development plan will continue to be assessed during the next stage of work to be completed by the company which is planned to include further exploration results and an assessment of the lithium market conditions.

Lithium Physical properties

Lithium is a silvery-white alkali metal that can be found in small quantities in rocks. It does not occur in its independent elemental form but it can be found as a component of minerals and salts present together in the rocks, commonly in brine water in the oceans. The name Lithium is derived from the Greek word “Lithos” meaning stone. Lithium itself is a special metal in many ways. It's light and soft — so soft that it can be cut with a kitchen knife and so low in density that it floats on water. It's also solid at a wide range of temperatures, with one of the lowest melting points of all metals and a high boiling point. According to the Jefferson National Linear Accelerator Laboratory, the properties of lithium are:

  • Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 3 
  • Atomic symbol (on the Periodic Table of Elements): Li 
  • Atomic weight (average mass of the atom): 6.941 
  • Density: 0.534 grams per cubic centimeter 
  • Phase at room temperature: Solid 
  • Melting point: 356.9 degrees Fahrenheit (180.5 degrees Celsius) 
  • Boiling point: 2448 degrees Fahrenheit (1342 degrees Celsius) 
  • The number of isotopes (atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons): 10; 2 stable.
Lithium Uses

This rare mineral is extracted from petalite, Lithium has a number of important and interesting uses. In recent years, it has been used to make lightweight and very efficient batteries like Duracell and aircraft, ship parts and other important industrial materials.


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