Prospect Resources Limited (ASX: PSC) has confirmed that the first 25 tonne container of technical grade petalite concentrate from the Arcadia Pilot Plant in Zimbabwe has been shipped to offtake partner Sibelco.
The company said the Pilot Plant results are consistent with previous lab scale test work and confirm the amenability of the Arcadia Ore Reserves to the production of an ultra-low iron, technical grade petalite concentrate product.
The quality of the petalite concentrate in the shipment, as shown in the table below, exceeds the specifications set out in Prospect’s offtake agreement with Sibelco.
Prospect received a pilot plant purchase order from offtake partner Sibelco in May 2021 for up to 2,000 tonnes of technical grade petalite concentrate.
The pricing in the purchase order represents an implied premium to the prevailing chemical grade spodumene concentrate (“SC6”) price of approximately 40%, at the time the order was struck.
While the price of technical grade petalite concentrate is typically linked to the price of technical grade lithium carbonate (for which it is a more direct substitute), this comparison to SC6 pricing highlights the significantly higher unit value of the technical grade petalite concentrate product relative to SC6.
Prospect Managing Director, Sam Hosack, also reported that the updated staged Optimised Feasibility Study (OFS) is materially complete, with final quality assurance checks and Lycopodium sign off underway. Product pricing assumptions contained in the OFS rely on independent, third-party sources, with an implied premium for technical grade petalite concentrate of approximately 30 % over SC6 pricing.
“I’m extremely pleased to announce that the Arcadia Pilot Plant has shipped on-spec technical grade petalite that is now making its way to Sibelco. With the plant now generating bulk volumes, the Prospect team are focused on showcasing Arcadia’s petalite to both our potential partners and the largest customers in the global glass and ceramics markets,” Mr Hosack said.
“The final qualification gate we expect to pass will demonstrate to our stakeholders that Arcadia will ovide a high quality, long life raw material source for both petalite and spodumene supply chains.
“I am also looking forward to announcing the results of the staged OFS in the next few weeks. With partner interest focused on faster ramp-up of the project, the team is also working hard with Lycopodium on the “direct to 2.4 Mtpa” case, which is due out later this calendar year.”
Prospect Resources undertook extensive metallurgical testwork over the period 2017-2020 to optimise Dense Media Separation (DMS) recovery efficiency and product quality.
A key outcome of the testwork supported a split DMS concept, in which coarse and fines fractions are treated separately using a two stage DMS consisting of ‘rougher’ and ‘cleaner’ steps, with the coarse fraction targeted at producing technical grade petalite product, and the fines fraction producing a chemical grade petalite product.
The Arcadia Pilot Plant design embraced the technical study outcomes and implemented a two-stage crushing plant and a single DMS stage capable of producing technical grade petalite product. A coarse fraction of size envelope 5mm x 1.7mm was selected as the optimum crush size for recovery of technical grade petalite product. The pilot plant can also be repurposed to process the fines fraction
The pilot plant first ore feed came from the blasted section of the Main Pegmatite (MP) ore body, which constitutes >16% of the total Arcadia Ore Reserves and more than 31% of the first 5 years ore supply (based on the 2.4 Mtpa case).
For further information please visit: https://www.prospectresources.com.au/