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Andrada produces first lithium concentrate from pilot programme

22nd May 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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Aim-listed Andrada Mining has achieved first production of lithium concentrate, in the form of a high-purity petalite concentrate, from an off-site pilot test programme.

The off-site test programme was launched in the first quarter to investigate the metallurgical potential of the pegmatites from Andrada’s three mineral licence areas around the town of Uis, in Namibia.

This initial 500 kg of 85% pure petalite concentrate has assayed 4.16% lithium oxide, which potential offtakers have indicated is a desirable lithium product.

Next, the concentrate will be used to conduct test work with potential offtakers, including through petalite conversion to lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.

Off-site dense media separation processing, from which Andrada expects to produce more than ten tonnes of concentrate, is ongoing through mineral processing specialist Bond Equipment.

Meanwhile, Andrada says construction of an on-site lithium pilot plant is on schedule for completion in June, with commissioning to follow in July.

The on-site pilot plant will enable the company to expedite bulk pilot test work and increase pilot production of lithium concentrate.

“We are pleased to announce the production of our first saleable bulk lithium concentrate. This milestone follows successful laboratory-scale test work and we believe it moves us one step closer to full-scale lithium production.

“With the completion of the on-site pilot plant imminent, we intend to expedite bulk pilot test work on all our mineral licences.

Simultaneously, we plan to increase pilot-scale production of lithium concentrate for testing with potential offtakers to achieve initial lithium sales,” says CEO Anthony Viljoen.

He confirms that the company’s senior debt facility of $5.5-million with the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is nearing closure towards the end of May, with initial drawdown planned for June.

The conclusion of another facility, worth $25-million, with Orion Global Resource Fund, remains subject to the finalisation of an intercreditor agreement between Orion and the senior lenders, which are DBN and Standard Bank.

Andrada’s flagship asset remains the Uis opencast tin mine, while it progresses its diversification into lithium.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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