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
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
MINE LIFE EXTENSION, DRILLING CAMPAIGN & RESOURCE EXPANSION
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|
|Indicated Mineral Resources|
|Total Measured & Indicated||20,289||4,904||1.06||278||339||51||365|
|Inferred Mineral Resources|
|Ore Source – 2013||19,360,0001||146,363||361,019||90,745||1,463,630|
|Net Ore Balance||16,145,4162||0.81%||130,846||322,745||81,125||1,308,463|
|Net Ore & Tailings Ponds||18,215,526||151,547||373,807||94,994||1,532,168|
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