Birimian has slashed the estimated operating costs for its Goulamina lithium project in southern Mali by roughly $US80 ($104) a tonne and the junior explorer is not stopping there.

Cost optimisation work has reduced transport, power and fuel costs by 47 per cent, 25 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

“Our target was to reduce Goulamina’s C1 operating cost from $US379/t to less than $US300/t and we are very pleased to have outperformed this measure,” chief Greg Walker told investors.

Shares were up 5.2 per cent at 51c by 11.20am AEDT on Tuesday following the news.

Mr Walker told Stockhead that among the hard rock mines globally, the reduced cost places Goulamina in the “lowest quartile”.


BGS shares over the past six months.
BGS shares over the past six months.

While there is more work to be done on lowering transport and power costs, Birimian is also looking at pit design.

“We’re fairly confident that it will be a larger pit and a lot shallower,” Mr Walker said. “So obviously that has implications in terms of stripping ratio, mining costs and so on.”

Birimian’s goal now is to get to as low as $US275 per tonne.

“I can’t make any promises on that, but as much as we can do we’ll just drive it as far south as we can and see where it lands,” Mr Walker said.

A revised pre-feasibility study, maiden reserve and upgraded resource are due out in the second quarter.