Lithium Project - AMG Lithium

Lithium Project Overview

As a global critical materials company at the forefront of CO2 reduction trends, AMG entered the lithium market in 2016 with an investment of approximately $50 million in the construction of a lithium concentrate (also known as spodumene) plant at its existing Mibra mine in Brazil. In December 2017, an approximately $110 million additional investment was approved for the construction of a second lithium concentrate plant, resulting in capacity expansion from 90,000 MT to 180,000 MT per year.

Leveraging its existing mining infrastructure in place at Mibra (which has been in operation for almost 40 years), AMG’s goal is to be the low-cost producer of lithium concentrate globally. AMG can recover lithium-bearing materials from the existing and future tailings at its profitable tantalum operations at Mibra, with the ore extraction and crushing costs absorbed by the Tantalum operations. AMG has successfully operated a lithium pilot plant since 2010, with more than 2.8 million tons of spodumene feed stock having been extracted.

Phase I of the project involves the construction of a lithium concentrate plant to produce 90,000 MT of spodumene per year, with operations expected to commence in mid-2018. Phase II entails increasing the annual production of spodumene from 90,000 MT to 180,000 MT per year, with mechanical completion expected in the second half of 2019. Phase III of the project would see AMG expand its operations into downstream market via construction of a lithium chemical plant. The recent mineral resource estimate for Mibra (published in April 2017 and prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Guidelines) identified 20.3 million MT of measured and indicated resources, which includes lithium, tantalum, niobium, and tin.

Lithium Project Milestones and Phases

See the latest updates and details of the Mibra Project milestones.


Mibra Mine Quick Facts

Founded in 1945 and acquired by Metallurg/AMG in 1978

Activities include open pit mining, crushing/grinding and electromagnetic concentration

Extracts tantalum and niobium bearing ores and sells as tantalum concentrate

Current production of 300,000 pounds of tantalum concentrate annually

Mibra mine’s location

Approximately 225 km
Northwest of Rio de Janeiro and 130 km Southwest of Belo Horizonte

Approximately 300 km
from Port of Santos, most important port in Brazil together with Rio de Janeiro

Mibra mine map

The Mibra Lithium Project will be executed in three phases:

Phase I involves the construction of a lithium concentrate plant to produce 90,000 MT of spodumene per year, with operations expected to commence in the first half of 2018.
Phase II entails increasing the annual production of spodumene from 90,000 MT to 180,000 MT per year.
Phase III involves construction of a lithium chemical plant for the downstream conversion of lithium concentrate into lithium hydroxide monohydrate and/or lithium carbonate (chemical grade lithium), used in the battery and fine chemical industries.

Mibra Mine Production Process


Mibra Mine Production Process



In April 2017, AMG Mineração updated its mineral resource estimates for its Mibra mine in Brazil in accordance with CIM Definition Standard and Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) Guidelines.
The Technical Report on Mineral Resources states that AMG Mineração’s Mibra mine has 20.3 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources, an increase of approximately 38% compared to the previous Mineral Resource Statement completed in 2013. Those resources include lithium, tantalum, niobium and tin. The report is based upon drillings and research done during the 2016-2017 core drilling campaign and certain economic assumptions that reflect today’s current market prices and extraction costs.
Based upon AMG’s targeted production level of 180k MT of lithium concentrate from 2020 onwards, AMG estimates that the current life of the mineral resource is approximately 20 years, based upon current extraction and processing costs, and current economic conditions.

  (‘000s tonnes) Li (ppm) Li2O (%) Ta (ppm) Ta2O5 Nb (ppm) Sn (ppm)
Measured Mineral Resources
A 3,224 4,685 1.01 289 353 52 267
F 197 3,670 0.79 377 461 45 565
Total Measured 3,421 4,626 1.00 294 359 52 284
Indicated Mineral Resources
A 11,989 5,130 1.10 293 358 46 258
C 4,842 4,545 0.98 228 278 64 685
F 37 4,179 0.90 428 523 49 773
Total Indicated 16,868 4,960 1.07 275 335 51 382
Total Measured & Indicated  20,289 4,904 1.06 278 339 51 365
Inferred Mineral Resources​ 
A 2,434 4,714 1.01 309 377 45 204
C 1,787 4,895 1.05 231 282 63 842
Total Inferred 4,222 4,790 1.03 276 337 53 474


Source MT Material
% LI2O
in Ore
Contained in
MT Spodumene
Ore Source – 2013 19,360,0001 146,363 361,019 90,745 1,463,630
Less Consumption  3,214,5843 15,517 38,274 9,620 155,167
Net Ore Balance  16,145,4162  0.81% 130,846 322,745 81,125 1,308,463
Tailings-Ponds 1&24  2,070,110 1.00%  20,701 51,061 13,870 223,705
Net Ore & Tailings Ponds  18,215,526  151,547 373,807 94,994 1,532,168
Tailings-Stockpiles4  750,000 1.15% 8,625 5,779 5,779 93,206
Total Resources  18,965,526 160,172 379,586 100,773 1,625,374

1 Ore balance per 2013 NI 43-101 Statement
2 Prior to resource expansion
3 AMG estimate of ore consumed in Ta and Feldspar production; residual quantities to tailings ponds
4 Preliminary AMG estimates