Nam to export first lithium concentrate soon

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Nam to export first lithium concentrate soon

THE SouthernTIMES Mar 20, 2018

    > Annines Angula

    Namibia will for the first time export lithium concentrate to China via the port of Walvis Bay within the next month. The company said an estimated 30,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate will be exported every six weeks to mainland China.  

    NamPort commercial executive, Immanuel Hanabeb, said the port authority is proud to be associated “with this project and the long-term benefits it will bring to the Namibian economy, ensuring NamPort’s quest to become a logistics hub”.

    According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, lithium concentrate is used in batteries, glass, grease, and air treatment, among others. 

    The only large-scale lithium mine in Namibia is operated by Canadian miner, Desert Lion Energy, about 30km southeast of Karibib in the Erongo region. The Brownfield Lithium Mine was first discovered in the 1930s and has a long history of small-scale mining operations, the company said. 

    Desert Lion Energy announced last December that it had started producing of lithium concentrate, on time and in line with management’s Phase I production plan. There are approximately 700,000 tonnes of stockpiled material and 100kt of fines located on the company’s exclusive prospecting licence that will be processed over a 12-month period, according to the company estimates.

    Desert Lion Energy’s vice-president, Salisha Ilyasa said the overall market of lithium today is 200,000 tonnes and consensus estimates are for 800,000 tonnes of demand by 2025. Ilyasa added that the batteries segment is forecast to grow to 65–70 percent.

    “Currently, the major lithium producing areas of the world are Western Australia (for hard rock) and South America (for brine) and much of this ends up in China for further processing into battery grade lithium chemicals,” she added.

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