The study is based on a 30-year operation life with US$267.9 million earmarked for pre-production capex.
The PFS combines a long-life, low-cost open pit or quarry operation with a processing plant located on-site and within 2 kilometres of the resource.
Project essential to Europe’s goal of securing critical lithium chemicals
Infinity’s managing director Ryan Parkin said: “The PFS has confirmed San José as a long-life, low-cost project that is essential to meet the European Commission’s goal to secure critical lithium chemicals that are imperative for the economic survival of their automotive industry.
“The value of the project is significant with a pre-tax NPV10 of US$860m and an attractive IRR of 42% over an extended project life, which, when coupled with the potential support of major European institutions such as the European Investment Bank, provides confidence for the development of the flagship lithium chemicals Project within Europe.”
Notably, the project life has been extended by 25% from 24 to 30 years of production.
The 30-year project life comprises 19 years of mining with the processing plant to continue operation for 11 years using stockpiles after mining finishes.
Project aligned to European stakeholders
Infinity is advancing activities in the European Union (EU) which included hosting the European Battery Association (EBA), European Investment Bank and senior institutional representatives in Madrid during the September quarter.
The importance of San José and other EU lithium-ion battery supply chain opportunities was reiterated in the meeting.
The EBA expressed a desire to visit the San José site and assist in the facilitation of commercial discussions with other industry participants as part of their ‘battery mining belt’ initiative.
Infinity is continuing to align the San José Project to European stakeholders and has commenced an evaluation of a Bolsa Madrid Exchange listing.
Recognition at stakeholders meeting
Further significant EU funding initiatives were revealed at the launch of the Battery Investment Platform as part of EBA's 6th Stakeholders Meeting where San José was recognised by the European Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič.
Šefčovič said: “Infinity Lithium is planning on producing 15,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide in Spain and is in negotiations with 4 European industrial players.
"Automakers should be very interested in this project.”
These comments extended vice president Šefčovič’s and the European Commission’s statement of support for EU lithium projects and specifically for battery raw materials projects that focus on the process of lithium extraction and conversion to lithium chemicals that are urgently required to support the EU’s automotive industry’s transition into electric mobility, and calls for the EIB to become fully engaged in funding raw material projects in exploration, mining and refining.
Tin and boron could add value
Potential tin and boron credits are available and are being assessed in the ongoing optimisation studies.
Additional work is required to define a value of the potential by-product credits, or if it would be economic to extract value from these credits.
Below is a graphic representation of the project’s forecast operation.
Parkin added: “The project presents the potential for exceptional multi-decade employment positions and tax revenues that are largely retained within the region of Extremadura, whilst also providing a world-class beacon for complementary activities in lithium-ion battery production and technologies in the region and throughout Spain.
“San José retains unique sustainability characteristics that further complement Europe’s aggressive carbon emissions compliance requirements through the implementation of an environmentally advantageous process flowsheet and superior carbon emissions profile for European end markets.”