Primero Group is to run the numbers at Savannah Resources 75%-owned Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal after being awarded the lead role for the upcoming feasibility study.
The feasibility will build on the recently released scoping study, which envisaged the building of a $109 million, 1.3 million tonne per year run of mine project able to produce around 175,000 t/y of 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate and generate a base case, post-tax net present value (8% discount) of $241 million.
Primero has already established a name in the lithium hard-rock space, having worked on the assessment, design, delivery and operation of global projects. It is currently being partnered with Tawana Resources, Galaxy Resources and Pilbara Minerals in Western Australia, in addition to Piedmont Lithium in the US.
The feasibility study will cover the project setting, geology and resource definition, mining, metallurgy, processing, infrastructure, market review, capital and operating cost estimates, financial modelling, human resources, environmental, social aspects, project approvals, project risk review and project development plans.
A mine and concentrator plant model will be developed based around Mina do Barroso’s deposits for the production of a lithium concentrate with additional ceramic co-products. The scoping study anticipated open-pit mining of the 14.42Mt (at 1.07% Li₂O) inferred resource, and processing via a combination of dense media separation and flotation to produce a spodumene concentrate for export sale.
Primero will be supported by various sub-consultants to provide specialist design services for specific areas of the project, but the consultant already has multi-disciplinary engineering teams with a deep understanding of lithium projects, according to Savannah.
Savannah anticipates the study results being available towards the end of the March quarter of 2019, keeping the company on track for first production from Mina do Barroso by 2020.