Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Australian Securities Exchange-listed miner, Prospect Resources, has announced a 39 percent increase of ore reserve estimate compared to the previous estimate announced in December 2017 at its Arcadia lithium project in Zimbabwe.
The results further cement Arcadia’s prospects as a future key player in the lithium industry not only in the electric battery market but also in the supply of glass and ceramics market with technical grade ultra-low iron petalite for which it got European approval earlier this month.
In a market update released yesterday, Prospect said a definitive feasibility study (DFS) is now being finalised to “reflect this increased Ore Reserve” and it will also encompass the optimisation works that the miner has done over the past 12 months to reflect the updated potential of the project.
“The Prospect team have worked tirelessly to extract the maximum value from the Arcadia deposit, with technical support from CSA Global we have added significantly to our inventory and reinforced the strength of Arcadia’s project economics,” Prospect managing director Sam Hosack said.
This incredible result confirms Arcadia as a globally unique and significant lithium deposit to supply the glass and ceramics market with technical grade ultra-low iron petalite.
“We see the battery market as a key driver of lithium demand growth but remain focused on the glass and ceramics market where Arcadia seeks to become a significant, consistent and reliable high-quality supplier and access the premium prices available in this market,” he said.
On glass and ceramics, Prospect has previously said it anticipates being one of only two mines in the world capable of producing ultra-low iron petalite and is also envisaging becoming the largest player in this natural oligopoly.
Their prospect is further boosted by an expected boom in demand for ultra-low iron petalite in Europe and Asia with considerable supply deficit for the foreseeable future.
Government, which is on a drive to lure investors, has already granted the Arcadia project — just outside Harare, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status and this will enable the miner to transact, operate and trade in foreign currency and to retain those funds offshore.
Scientists have observed that lithium has a wide range of industrial applications resulting in numerous chemical and technical uses. It has the highest electrochemical potential of all metals, a key property in its role in lithiumion batteries.
The current global push towards electric vehicles has seen lithium being classified as a mineral for the future due the important role that it is expected to play in electrical vehicles.