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Atlantic announces 15.7Mt maiden feldspar resource estimate at Ewoyaa

12th December 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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Africa-focused lithium exploration and development company Atlantic Lithium has announced a maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 15.7-million tonnes at 40.2% feldspar for the company’s flagship Ewoyaa lithium project, in Ghana, including 13.7-million tonnes at 87% feldspar in the measured and indicated categories.

“With 87% of the resource in the higher-confidence measured and indicated categories, the feldspar MRE represents a further significant derisking and potentially value-enhancing milestone for the project as we move closer towards construction,” Atlantic executive chairperson Neil Herbert said on December 12.

The feldspar MRE is confined to the Ewoyaa Main, Ewoyaa Northeast, Ewoyaa South-1 and Ewoyaa South-2 deposits, which constitute about the first five years of planned spodumene concentrate production at the project, as indicated by the Ewoyaa definitive feasibility study (DFS).

The feldspar MRE is based on the same geological model that resulted in the 35.3-million tonnes at 1.25% lithium oxide MRE for the project and includes 31.1% quartz and 11.7% muscovite, as additional potential by-products of spodumene concentrate production at Ewoyaa. The DFS incorporates about the first five years of the mine schedule.

The maiden feldspar MRE enables the potential inclusion of feldspar by-product credits in future revisions of the Ewoyaa feasibility studies, believed to drive down operating costs and further enhance the value of the project.

“Identified early on by the company as a by-product of spodumene concentrate production at Ewoyaa, the definition of the maiden feldspar MRE now confirms the project’s potential as a major source of domestic feldspar in Ghana, capable of delivering industry-standard saleable ware. 

“Currently supplied only by small-scale mining operations, we intend to supply the feldspar into the local Ghanian ceramics market. The feldspar MRE indicates Ewoyaa’s potential to meet and even surpass Ghana’s demand requirements, further demonstrating the significant contribution the project is expected to bring to Ghana,” Herbert said.

Metallurgical test work and ceramic application trials have been undertaken. So far, the ceramic trials successfully produced acceptable, industry-standard ware, comparable in all aspects, including contraction, water absorption, density, porosity, shape, colour and appearance.

Further feldspar MRE growth has been targeted through the inclusion of analysis of historic drilling samples across remaining pegmatite deposits and new drilling currently underway.

The maiden feldspar MRE will be incorporated into the ongoing feldspar DFS being undertaken to assess the viability and prospective market conditions for the production of feldspar at Ewoyaa, with results due in the fourth quarter of next year.

“Currently, the economic outcomes indicated by the DFS for the project do not consider the production of feldspar at Ewoyaa. The definition of the feldspar MRE, therefore, enables the inclusion of feldspar by-product credits in future revisions of the project’s economics, offering the potential to further enhance the already impressive financial outcomes expected to be delivered at Ewoyaa.

“There is significant potential to further grow the resource. The feldspar MRE will then be incorporated into the ongoing feldspar Study which is evaluating the prospective market conditions and viability of producing feldspar at the project,” Herbert explained.

The results of the feldspar study are expected in the first quarter of next year.

“Initial feldspar quality test work has delivered good quality vitreous hotelware, high-end earthenware and floor tiles and successfully substituted industry accepted feldspar in trial firings. The results of the trials are very encouraging for the manufacture of saleable feldspar products,” Herbert said.

He added that a revised feldspar resource estimate considering the life of the mine would be released after next year.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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