EMP Metals Corp. (CSE: EMPS | OTCQB: EMPPF) has announced the highlights from its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the Viewfield Lithium Brine Project in Saskatchewan, Canada. The PEA, prepared by Hub City Lithium Corp., outlines the estimated production of battery-quality lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) over a 23-year period, which represents an estimated a pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 55% and a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of US$1.49B at an 8% discount rate.
The project will produce an average of 12,175t of LCE per year from brine with a weighted average lithium content of 128mg/L from seven target zones. The total capital cost of the project is anticipated at US$571M, including a contingency of US$52M. The capex will be repaid in a little over a two-year time span.
The PEA encompasses approximately 11,000ha, or 14% of Hub City Lithium’s lands in southern Saskatchewan, with anticipated all-in operating costs (OPEX) of about US$40M annually.
“With payback in approximately two years, a 23-year project life and a pre-tax IRR of 55%, our Viewfield project is clearly a world class lithium asset,” commented EMP CEO Rob Gamley. “The PEA study underpins a significant property value and highlights the benefits of excellent brine concentrations, low operating costs and close proximity to local infrastructure in one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world.”
Development has been planned in three units: wellfield or drilling the production and disposal wells as well as laying the pipelines, infrastructure related to pre-filtration requirements and direct lithium extraction (DLE) operations, and downstream infrastructure for DLE refining and conversion. A recovery factor of 50% total lithium in place was estimated for the PEA.
Valleyfield has seven target zones, ranging in concentration from 84mg/L to 259mg/L. Production will begin on the Wymark C, D, and E zones for the first seven years of operation. These are the shallowest and highest concentration zones and are meant to produce 18,850tpa LCE.
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