Enirgi Group completes construction and successful commissioning of separation plant at lithium processing demonstration facility

Enirgi Group Corp provides an update on the progress of the engineering and construction of its commercial scale demonstration lithium carbonate processing plant (the DXP Plant) at its flagship lithium project, the Salar del Rincón in Salta, Argentina and its on-time start-up of the first section of the plant (separation plant”) of the DXP Plant, which signals the end of major construction works and the beginning of commissioning.

Enirgi Group owns 100% of the Enirgi lithium project through its wholly-owned subsidiary ADY Resources Ltd. The project’s DXP Plant is designed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate directly from raw, unconcentrated brine in 24 hours eliminating the reliance on capital intensive and environmentally invasive evaporation ponds. The DXP Plant will use Enirgi Group’s proprietary lithium extraction technology (DXP Technology), developed in-house by Enirgi Group’s Innovation Division in cooperation with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Enirgi Group began construction of its DXP Plant on the Salar del Rincón in December 2016 to underpin the decision to build a 50,000 t/y commercial facility based on Enirgi Group’s proprietary DXP Technology. Previously, Enirgi Group retained SRK Consulting (US) to summarize the definitive feasibility study in the form of a technical report prepared in accordance with NI 43-101.

Key DFS Findings

Probable Reserves          1.2 Mt lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). (average lithium grade 371 mg/litre)

Measured and Indicated Resources        3.5 Mt LCE (average lithium grade 393 mg/litre)

Inferred Resources         4.8 Mt LCE (average lithium grade 406 mg/litre)

Initial net capital expenditure   $720.1 million (including 8.62% contingency)

Ungeared After-tax 9% NPV       $1.36 billion

Ungeared After-tax IRR                 30.80%

Payback period                 4.13 years from start of commercial production

Life of Mine       24.5 years

Average annual production        50,000 t/y LCE

Total cash operating cost             $2,070/t LCE for life of mine

Enirgi Group’s Innovation Division is managing the construction and commissioning of the DXP Plant on site at Salar del Rincón. When fully commissioned, the DXP Plant will initially produce 1 t/d of battery grade lithium carbonate.

The separation plant, which processes raw brine direct from the salar by removing impurities and preparing the brine for processing, is in operation after passing site acceptance testing. The separation plant will now operate under normal commercial production conditions to collect process data required for plant optimization and will be handed over to the operations team who have been closely involved in the engineering, design and construction of the DXP Plant Facility.

Enirgi Group’s Innovation Division has practical start-up plans in place and the commissioning plan will ensure that each process is commissioned in sequence and working effectively, safely, and within specification in order to ensure a successful start-up. Wayne Richardson, President and CEO of Enirgi Group, said: “Our team has made solid progress in what is a compressed timeframe to deliver the start-up of the first section of the DXP Plant. We plan to bring additional sections on-line as we demonstrate the full lithium extraction capabilities of the technology and we are working towards sign-off from our technology partner, ANSTO, in mid-2017 completing validation of our DXP Technology in-situ and underpinning the value of our Lithium Project.”

Enirgi Group’s Innovation Division expects to complete full commissioning of the DXP Plant by the end of May 2017.