TSX-V-listed Cypress Development has announced positive results from a prefeasibility study (PFS) of the company’s Clayton Valley lithium project, in Nevada, US.
The study, prepared by Continental Metallurgical Services, envisions an average production rate of 15 000 t/d to produce 27 400 t/y of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), over a 40-year mine life.
Nearly $500-million in capital expenditure is required, while the operating cost will average $3 329/t.
The project has an after-tax net present value of $1-billion at an 8% discount rate and 25.8% internal rate of return. The payback period has been estimated at 4.4 years.
Currently, the project has measured and indicated mineral resources of 593-million tonnes, for 3.3-million tonnes of LCE.
CEO Dr Bill Willougby says the PFS is a major milestone for Cypress, taking the company close to its goal of developing a world-class lithium deposit.
“Cypress’ land position and resources afford us the opportunity for a long-life project with low operating costs and potential to be a significant source of lithium for the US.
“The key features of the claystone deposit include its large size, surface exposure and flat-lying nature. These features allow mining with negligible strip ratio due to minimal overburden and no interbedded waste, and no drilling or blasting in excavation,” Willoughby notes.
He adds that metallurgical testing indicates low-cost processing can be achieved by leaching with low acid consumption and high lithium recovery. Self-generated power from a 2 500 t/d acid plant is included in the project’s costs.
The Clayton Valley project also has the potential to recover other by-products, including rare-earth elements and alkali salts.
The PFS recommends further work on the project, including a pilot plant study prior to initiating a feasibility study and permitting. This should cost about $6.7-million.
Cypress has started preparations for the pilot plant, beginning with baseline environmental studies.Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online