Just As The Name Has It Canada Lithium Will Be Canada’s Sole Producer By 2013
By Ted Niles
Today it is on track to become this country’s sole lithium producer, but this time last year things looked grim for Canada Lithium Corp TSX:CLQ. An internal review of the October 2010 NI 43-101 technical report for the company’s Quebec Lithium project indicated “a material reduction” in the project’s resources, and the company announced February 2011 it had hired Roscoe Postle and Associates to conduct an independent review. News of the apparent error—confirmed May 2011 in a 37% reduction to the measured and indicated resources—sent the company’s share price plummeting. And a $50-million class-action lawsuit by shareholders in April didn’t help.
But while the loss of a chunk of its resource was a blow to the company, it still wasn’t enough to slow the project down. The results of its June 2011 feasibility study confirmed Quebec Lithium’s essentials were largely intact. Projected annual production of 20,000-tonnes lithium carbonate remained unchanged, as did the estimated life-of-mine—indeed it was fractionally increased to 14.9 years from 14.8 years. The project’s pretax net present value decreased from $270 million to $190 million as a consequence of higher stripping ratios, increased dilution and ore loss, and its internal rate of return decreased from 24% to 22%. But due to a lower mineral reserve grade (0.94% Li2O from 1.17% Li20), the project’s proven and probable reserves actually saw an increase of roughly 1.5 million tonnes for a total of 17.1 million. Capital costs increased from $202 million to $207 million.
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