THE DRILL SERGEANT: Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) provided an update to the initial by-product Mineral Resource estimate the company reported in September 2018.
Piedmont Lithium announced updated Mineral Resource estimates for mineral by-products quartz, feldspar and mica from spodumene bearing pegmatites on the company’s wholly-owned Core property located within the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (TSB) in North Carolina, USA.
The company said the by-product Mineral Resource estimates were based on normative mineralogy compositions from 326 drill holes previously analysed for lithium.
Source: Company announcement
In June 2019, Piedmont reported an updated lithium Mineral Resource for the Core property of 25.1 million tonnes at 1.09 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O).
Piedmont explained that the by-products and lithium Mineral Resource estimates utilise the same geologic model and that it was now updating the project’s Scoping Study, which will include the updated by-product resources and the June 2019 lithium resource.
“The historic lithium mines in the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt generated a material portion of their economics from the sale of by-product minerals quartz, feldspar and mica to the large, local south-eastern US industrial markets,” Piedmont Lithium president and CEO Keith D. Phillips said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“These markets have continued to grow and are currently served in part by high-cost imported material.
“We expect by-products to represent a significant – and unique – opportunity for Piedmont, and I would note that in our Scoping Study dated September 12, 2018 the by-product credits effectively reduced our cash production costs of lithium hydroxide by more than US$750 per tonne, and we expect a similar impact in our study update due next week.”