Australia’s Atlantic Lithium (LON: ALL) (ASX: A11) is targeting first production at its Ewoyaa project in Ghana, which would be the country’s first lithium mine, in the second half of 2024.
The exploration and development company, which also has lithium projects in Ivory Coast, estimates the operation has the potential to generate nearly $5 billion in revenue over its 12.5-year lifetime.
Reporting financial results for the year 2022, the Africa-focused exploration and development firm highlighted its agreement with Piedmont Lithium (ASX, NASDAQ: PLL), which would allow Atlantic Lithium to fund Ewoyaa, via a staged earn in of $103 million, to production.
A pre-feasibility study of the project, released last week, projected a production of two million tonnes a year, an initial rate of return of 224% and payback in less than five months. An updated assessment will be published in early 2023.
“We have long been confident of the considerable profitability that Ewoyaa offers, but the PFS provided valuable third-party vindication of our belief,” the company’s executive chairman, Neil Herbert, said in the statement. “It is also important to note that ongoing drilling is intended to grow the resource further.” Atlantic Lithium said it would submit its mining licence application for the project in the coming days.
The company started trading shares on the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday, four years after discovering Ghana’s first commercially-viable lithium deposit less than a kilometre off its national highway.
Ghana, known for its gold and cocoa production, has long sought to diversify its exports, and Atlantic Lithium, previously known as IronRidge Resources, believes that mining the battery metal could be a partial solution.
Prices for the ultra-light metal have soared past $70,000 per tonne this year as top automakers scramble to secure more supply to shift production from fossil fuel-burning engines to electric-powered vehicles.
IronRidge changed its name and demerged its gold assets into a separate company at the end of last year to focus on production of the battery metal, key for the batteries that power EVs and high tech devices.