Pertti Lamberg, chief executive officer (CEO) of Keliber Oy, tells Proactive Investors the company has more than 5mln tonnes of lithium in six different deposits at its project located in central Finland, according to the maiden mineral resource report.
The company completed a pre-feasibility study earlier this year and are working on a definitive feasibility study (DFS), calculating the development and extraction costs. Happily, the project looks like it will be “very profitable and successful,” the Keliber CEO said.
The DFS should be done and dusted by the end of the second quarter of next year. The company is financed through to the conclusion of the DFS, but as is usually the case with small companies, it will be looking for fresh financing thereafter.
“We are a small company,” Lamberg revealed. There are just nine in the team, but they are all mining veterans with a lot of technical expertise; the chief operating officer, for instance, has been working on this project for ten years.
Appropriately enough for a company that is extracting a mineral that is used extensively in green energy, Keliber is taking extra care to factor in environmental issues into its mine development plan.
“So, for example, we are [going to be] using soda leaching in the extraction stage when most companies would use sulphuric acid,” Lamberg said.
“Our tailings, our by-products, can be used in water purification,” he added. The company is seeking to reduce the environmental footprint of its tailings management area as much as possible, while it has taken advice from nature experts to build ponds for moor frogs and nests for golden eagles as part of its commitment to look after local wildlife as much as possible.
The company expects to start producing in by the end of 2019, and is targeting 9,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year.
“Obviously there is going to be a ramp-up stage. It’s a lengthy process … and a big investment, and there are a lot of challenges in there,” the CEO conceded, but he predicted that within a year of starting production the mine would be producing at full whack.
Story by ProactiveInvestors