Sigma achieves record daily lithium production at Grota do Cirilo

Sigma Lithium reports an expected annualized production of 270,000 tonnes Li2O this year. Credit: Sigma Lithium

Sigma Lithium (NASDAQ: SGML, TSXV: SGML), announced on Monday that its Greentech plant in eastern Brazil has reached a record daily peak production of 890 tonnes of lithium.

The company said it remains on track to achieve annual 2023 production guidance of 130,000 tonnes of lithium.

The Greentech Plant, located at Sigma’s Grota do Cirilo mine in Minas Gerais state is the first lithium facility in the world to produce chemical-grade lithium concentrate without a tailings dam and with 100% reuse of the water utilized in the processing.

Sigma expects to produce 270,000 metric tons of lithium concentrate in its first year of full operation – over twice the 112,000 metric tons of lithium concentrate produced in all of Brazil last year, according to the Brazilian Mining Association.

The miner also said that the two-phase expansion, which it could start as soon as next year, according to a June 30 financial report, would boost output to 766,000 metric tons per year.

The peak production milestone comes just over one month after Sigma made its second shipment from Grota do Cirilo, consisting of 15,000 tonnes of battery-grade spodumene concentrate and 30,000 tonnes of byproducts that it transported by truck to Vitoria Port in Brazil. Sigma made its first shipment in July. 

In a research note on Tuesday, Red Cloud Securities mining analyst David Talbot said he views the production achievement as positive for the company as it moves a step closer to reaching its 2023 guidance and steady-state production rate. 

“If throughput continues to increase, we see a greater chance of production increasing from 270,000 to 768,000 tpa of lithium spodumene concentrate,” he said. 

Sigma shares were down 1.4% to $40.94 apiece at mid-day in Toronto on Tuesday, valuing the company at $4.4 billion. Its shares traded in a 52-week window of $32.62 and $57.57. 

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