Savannah Resources upbeat on test work at Mina do Barroso
Savannah Resources announced the successful completion of the glass and ceramics test work programme on co-product feldspar and quartz at the Mina do Barroso Lithium Project on Tuesday, reporting that the work had demonstrated that feldspar and quartz from the project’s spodumene concentrate tails were suitable for use in a “range” of glass and ceramic applications.
The AIM-traded firm said the test work confirmed that the bulk tail from the spodumene concentrator was also a saleable product, requiring no further processing, adding that the successful programme validated Mina do Barroso feldspar for both ceramic bodies and glazes, and float and container glass, in addition to validating the project’s quartz for lead crystal and container glass.
It said marketing studies had concluded that prices for Mina do Barroso co-products could be “significantly higher” than reported in the 2018 scoping study, with feldspar at between $65 and $100 per tonne, compared to $39; quartz at $60 to $100 per tonne, compared to $33; and a bulk tail at between $40 and $45 per tonne.
Glass and ceramics were described by the board as “two of the biggest global markets” for feldspar and quartz, with the directors adding that Mina do Barroso was “geographically well-positioned” to supply markets in Portugal, Spain and other European countries.
It said discussions were underway with potential offtake and joint venture partners to advance the co-product opportunity.
The sale of products derived from the lithium concentrator tails would generate additional revenue and reduce the costs and the footprint associated with waste storage on site, Savannah explained.
It said the test work programme was designed and managed by the “experienced” First Test Minerals.
“Glass and ceramics are huge global industries, with Europe representing 25% of global production of ceramics,” said Savannah Resources chief executive officer David Archer.
“Feldspar and quartz products have been produced in this region of Portugal for decades and are well regarded by glass and ceramic manufacturers in the domestic market and in Spain.
“The completed test work has validated Mina do Barroso's feldspar and quartz for these applications.”
Archer said producing saleable products from the waste stream of the spodumene concentrator would help to reduce operating costs and the footprint associated with handling and storing waste material on the project site.
“Very significantly, the test work has also confirmed that there is potential for the sale of a combined feldspar and quartz bulk tail from Mina do Barroso, requiring no further processing.
“Production of this bulk material would also potentially eliminate approximately $15m from the estimated processing plant capex that would be required to produce separate quartz and feldspar co-products.”
At the same time, Archer noted that the estimated unit sale price of the bulk product was likely to exceed the prices for separate feldspar and quartz products assumed in the June 2018 scoping study.
“Test marketing to potential customers is now underway.”