2018/09/15 – Kodal Minerals has identified an estimated 17 million tonnes of mineral resources in southern Mali with the potential to produce a battery-grade lithium carbonate. CEO Bernard Aylward discusses the lithium boom, open-pit mining and managing risk in foreign jurisdictions.
Thanks to lithium mining in Mali, Kodal Minerals CEO Bernard Aylward has the confident demeanour of a man whose company’s time may have come.
In September 2016, the London-listed lithium exploration and development firm snapped up for a song a promising play in the south of the landlocked West African nation.
Two years and 35,000m of drilling later, the Bougouni project is beginning to bear fruit.
Initial test drilling across seven prospects revealed high-grade mineralisation and Kodal has just released its maiden resource estimate; 17 million tonnes of hard-rock lithium across three sites – Sogola-Boule (10.4 million tonnes), Ngouanala (4.7 million tonnes) and Boumou (2.2 million tonnes).
Add to that a £6m strategic investment and offtake agreement with Suay Chin International – a Singapore-based trading company with an established footprint in the Chinese lithium carbonate manufacturing market – and Aylward is understandably feeling bullish about the future.
“We believe we have a very strong, robust operation with a very high potential to move to mining,” he says. “Preliminary optimisation studies confirm the possibility of a ten-year-plus mine life and the probability of the mining operation producing high margins and cash flows over a long period.