AUSTRALIA-LISTED mining concern, Prospect Resources took delivery of the pre-assembled pilot plant crushing equipment over the weekend.
Arcadia represents a globally significant hard rock lithium resource and is being rapidly developed by Prospect’s team, focusing on near term production of high purity petalite and spodumene concentrates.
The project is one of the most advanced lithium projects globally, with a definitive feasibility study, offtake partners secured and a clear pathway to production.
The arrival of the equipment will allow the company to conduct the mine’s first blast this week.
Through its Twitter handle, the mining firm whose Arcadia project is situated a few kilometres east of Harare, described the arrival of the equipment as “exciting times”.
Commenting on the latest development, managing director, Mr Sam Hosack described the arrival of the equipment as great progress.
“Great progress — Trevor and team. Safety and quality are paramount as we target first sample production in June,” Mr Hosack tweeted.
The operation of the pilot plant will allow for the accumulation of knowledge during design, mitigating the scaling issues that peer lithium producers have experienced on account of a too rapid growth in supply.
Prospect will first focus on producing petalite, which is technical grade and spodumene, (chemical) grade lithium samples.
In mid-April Mr Hosack said the project remained on time and on budget with a target to ship high purity petalite by the end of next month.
“The pilot plan forms a critical part of our project development and market integration strategies and we look forward to providing key customers with high-value petalite product to complete their qualification requirements.
“Prospect is generating spodumene samples via an experienced third-party laboratory, as downstream lithium chemical customers only require 2kg spodumene samples to qualify,” Mr Hosack said.
Lithium production has been designated as an integral part of the Government’s US$12 billion mining industry target by 2023 and is a strategic sub-sector expected to earn US$500 million annually.
Other lithium projects the Government was hinging on under the projected US$12 billion roadmap are the Bikita Minerals, Zulu Lithium, and Kamativi, which was a tin mine before closing down in 1994 and would be re-opened by 2023 as a lithium multi-element ore body mine. Chronicle