Critical Elements Releases Feasibility Study for Lithium-Tantalum Project

Rose will produce an annual average of 50,205 tonnes of technical-grade lithium and 186,327 tonnes of chemical-grade lithium concentrate.

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Lithium junior Critical Elements (TSXV:CRE) released a feasibility study for its Rose lithium-tantalum project in Quebec on Wednesday (September 6).

According to the report, the mine will produce an annual average of 50,205 tonnes of technical-grade lithium and 186,327 tonnes of chemical-grade lithium concentrate.

Lithium is a key element in lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power electric vehicles. As the electric car revolution unfolds, lithium-ion battery demand from the electric car sector is set to rise above 400 GWh by 2025, as per analysts at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

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“The feasibility study is a major milestone for Critical Elements, which explains our superior competitive situation. The excellent gross margin is a key indicator for the quality of this project,” said Dr. Steffen Haber, president of Critical Elements.

The expected mine life for Rose is 17 years. Construction is expected to start in the last quarter of 2018, after permitting is completed. Meanwhile, commercial production is forecast to begin in late 2020. The report also shows an after-tax net present value of $726 million (at an 8-percent discount), and an after-tax internal rate of return of 34.9 percent.

“I’m very pleased with the delivery and the results of the most important milestone of Critical Elements to date,” commented Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, the company’s CEO and chairman of the board.

The company has a collaboration agreement in place with German chemical company HELM for all production from the Rose deposit. It includes a take-or-pay offtake agreement at customer market prices. “HELM is an excellent sales and distribution partner with global exposure,” Haber told the Investing News Network in a recent interview.

Critical Elements owns 100 percent of the Rose project, which is also expected to produce 429 tonnes of tantalum concentrate per year.

Tantalum is an essential component in cell phones and other modern technologies, but the extraction of the metal has been linked to conflict, as it is mainly mined in the politically unstable Democratic Republic of Congo. The Rose deposit is one of the largest conflict-free tantalum resources in the world.

As of 1:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Critical Elements’ share price remained neutral, trading at C$1.46. The company’s share price has been surging since January, gaining 186.27 percent year-to-date.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Critical Elements is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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