Mali’s Goulamina only getting better as key study nears completion
Link copied to
Special Report: Mali Lithium is already sitting on one of the world’s biggest and best undeveloped hard-rock lithium deposits at its Goulamina Project in southern Mali.
But the company believes it should improve in size and quality following the latest results from a resource definition and extensional drilling program that is about half-way to completion.
And that will only help to enhance project economics when it comes to hand down the definitive feasibility study (DFS) on Goulamina in coming months.
Mali Lithium (ASX: MLL) told the market this morning that the recent drilling had returned numerous mineralised intersections, and in many cases these were extensions to previously known pegmatites, the rock type that hosts the lithium mineralisation.
Among the best intercepts were 44 metres grading 1.76% lithium oxide (Li2O) from a depth of 159 metres, 50 metres at 1.60% Li2O from 137 metres and 39 metres at 1.84% Li2O from 36 metres.
The thick, high-grade results bode well for a meaningful upgrade to the Goulamina Mineral Resource – currently 103.2 million tonnes grading 1.34% Li2O – which Mali Lithium expects to deliver at the end of March.
The drilling has also served to increase the company’s confidence in the Goulamina deposits to the point where it anticipates also being able to add substantially to the existing reserve (the part of the resource that can be economically mined) of 31.2 million tonnes grading 1.56% Li2O.
As Mali Lithium pointed out this morning, a revision of the Goulamina reserve may have a material positive impact on the project’s Net Present Value, one of the key metrics used to assess the financial viability of proposed mines.
That being the case, the company has sensibly opted to wait for the re-estimation of the reserve to be completed and incorporate the outcome into the DFS. This is expected to delay the completion of the study by about six weeks, pushing it back to mid-May.
“In the current market, maximising the project value and further distinguishing Goulamina as a world-leading resource makes complete sense,” Mali Lithium managing director Chris Evans said.
“We look forward to doing this through the delivery of the DFS and moving ahead with the project development from there.”
Mali Lithium is one of several lithium developers and producers to have enjoyed a recent rebound in share price, with the stock rising from around 7c at the start of the year to 11c in midday trading yesterday.
At that price, the company’s market capitalisation is $35 million.
Evans attributed the recent bounce in lithium stocks primarily to positive developments in the electric vehicle market in China.
The Chinese government recently decided to maintain subsidies for EV manufacturers beyond what was originally expected, while Tesla has started deliveries of its Model 3 car from its factory in China and the company is starting to look like it can become profitable.
Evans also pointed to continued commitments from automotive manufacturers to new EV and hybrid models, adding to lithium demand forecasts.
The supply side had also softened in the past six months, with Alita Resources stopping production, Nemaska Lithium going into administration in North America and the shelving of numerous planned mine expansions.