Bacanora, the London and Canadian listed (AIM: BCN, TSXV: BCN) lithium exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that the Environmental Impact Statement, the Manifestacion de Impacto Ambiental (‘MIA’), for its flagship Sonora Project (‘Sonora’ or the ‘Project’) in Mexico has been approved by SEMARNAT, the Environment Ministry of Mexico. The Company is also pleased to provide an update on its ongoing Feasibility Study (‘FS’) for a 35,000 tonnes per annum lithium carbonate operation at Sonora, which on course for completion in late 2017.
· MIA approval received for a 35,000tpa lithium carbonate operation at Sonora, following completion of comprehensive environmental and social baseline studies carried out over the site during a two year period
· Approval represents a major milestone for Bacanora and is in line with its strategy to construct an open-pit mine and a large scale beneficiation processing facility at Sonora
· FS expected to confirm Sonora occupies a favourable position in the industry cost curve due to:
o Planned open pit mining operations
o Development of a conventional beneficiation process followed by a standard SO4 roasting process that has been de-risked by the Project’s pilot plant which has continuously produced battery grade lithium since May 2016
o Free digging lithium deposit which removes the need for the lithium ore to be drilled, blasted, crushed and ground prior to processing as is the case with hard rock
o Ability to re-cycle Na2SO4 into the roaster negates the requirement to purchase expensive sulphuric acid as a sulphate SO4 source
· Sonora has an Indicated Mineral Resource (established in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI-43-101”)) of 4.5 million tonnes LCE and 2.7 million tonnes Inferred and Probable Mineral Reserves (based upon the 2016 PFS) of 2.1 million tonnes LCE.
Bacanora CEO Peter Secker said,
“Government approval for the Environmental Impact Statement is the latest key requirement that is now in place at Sonora. One-by-one we are ticking off our checklist ahead of our goal of developing Sonora into a world class lithium operation. Our work to date has already established Sonora as a large and scalable project; while our pilot plant at Sonora has been producing battery grade lithium carbonate on a continuous basis for the past eighteen months. This has served to prove the detailed flow sheet and metallurgical process that will be deployed at the Project, and has also helped to secure Hanwa as both a strategic and off-take partner for up to 100% of production.
“We are confident that Sonora remains on course to help meet expected strong growth in demand for lithium carbonate from fast-growing industries such as electric vehicles and battery storage. I look forward to providing further updates on our progress, as we focus on transforming Bacanora into a producer of battery grade lithium carbonate.”
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