Canada-based Sigma Lithium Corporation (earlier post) has begun construction on site to build the foundation and infrastructure installation of its greentech dense media separation production plant, at its wholly owned Grota do Cirilo project in Brazil.
The company has secured 38 critical long-lead items required for the project and begun ordering them from respective suppliers, placing deposits to secure manufacturing timetables. Prices and FEL-3 quotes (fixed-bid quotes in the Front-End Loading process) for these long lead items have been in line with the FEL-2 (refined quotes) capex estimates in the feasibility study included in the company’s most recently filed technical report.
Completion of this stage of the construction civil works is expected within three months, when the Brazilian sub-construction firm of Promon Engenharia Ltda. is expected to complete earthworks and the concrete plant drainage channels.
This stage follows the successful conclusion last month of mobilization to site of approximately 180 workers and construction equipment.
In order to fund construction, the company has the funds to meet the equity funding requirements under its proposed construction bank debt facility. The company signed term sheets for debt and project finance with BDMG, the development bank of the Minas Gerais State and a commercial bank. It The closing of these debt transactions is pending the completion of customary due diligence and definitive documentation.
Phase 1 of the Production Plant has been designed to produce up to 220,000 tonnes per annum of high purity 6% battery-grade lithium concentrate, equivalent to approximately 33,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
By advancing the Phase 1 construction schedule as planned, Sigma Lithium is in a position to potentially deliver large quantities of battery-grade green and sustainable lithium at a critical supply juncture for the lithium market and the battery industry.
Customer demand has been beyond the quantities that are planned to be produced by Phase 1, as indicated by the binding term-sheet with LG Energy Solution as well as by our agreement with Mitsui.
The company completed a preliminary economic assessment and is currently conducting a preliminary feasibility study for a prospective second production phase contemplating the addition of a processing line with similar capacity to Phase 1 with a further 220,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium.
If warranted and validated by the ongoing feasibility study, the company could potentially double the project total capacity to 440,000 tonnes per year (66,000 tonnes per year of LCE). The preliminary feasibility study is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
Sigma is developing the largest hard rock lithium spodumene deposits in the Americas, located in its wholly owned Grota do Cirilo project in Brazil.