BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Allkem Limited (ASX: AKE, “Allkem” or the “Company”) has reviewed and updated technical studies for the Olaroz, Sal de Vida, Cauchari, James Bay and Mt Cattlin operations and projects which also assists with preparation for the proposed merger with Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM).
The findings of these studies will be published in NI43-101 format as required by the Toronto Stock Exchange, the format required by the New York Stock Exchange under subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K of the United States Securities Act of 1933 and are summarised in individual JORC compliant ASX releases published at the date of this announcement.
- Updated studies confirm the robust economics and tier one nature of the asset base, further de-risking both company growth and future production (refer to Table 1)
- Total group resources of ~40 million tonne (“Mt”) (refer to Table 2) lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”) demonstrates the world class asset base of the Allkem Group
- Highly competitive and low overall group cost of production and capital intensity of growth projects will deliver material operating cashflow under current market conditions and industry pricing forecasts
- Allkem (100% basis) plans to deliver 179,000 tonnes (“kt”) of LCE production capacity by FY28 (165kt of LCE capacity on an attributable basis) up from approximately 50kt forecast for FY24
- Growth projects are planned to be fully funded from existing corporate cash, existing or new corporate debt/project finance facilities and cash flow from operations
- Potential for further multiple large-scale expansions at Olaroz, Sal da Vida, James Bay and Cauchari
- Material increase of Mineral Resource Estimate to 110.2 Mt at 1.30% Li2O. The deposit is open laterally and at depth with possible significant additional mineralisation to be drilled later CY23
- Capital costs have increased in-line with industry conditions, with economics remaining robust
- A larger development, supported by the increased Mineral Resource Estimate, will be evaluated by management and the technical team
- Continued evaluation of downstream opportunities in North America, which will include the potential to leverage the Bécancour site and design following the merger with Livent
- Federal approvals obtained in January 2023 and the Provincial approval process is in final stages
- Successful ore reserve and resources replacement confirms mine life extension
- Production forecast of 210-230kt for FY24 as main parts of the orebody are accessed
- Finalising commissioning of stage 2 with first wet production achieved in July
- Long term operating costs for the combined Stage 1 and Stage 2 operation are estimated at US$4,149 per tonne LCE over the life-of-mine (“LOM”) considering operational synergies from the joint operation of Stage 1 and 2
- Olaroz resource increased to 22Mt LCE and when combined with the adjacent Cauchari resource provides 28Mt of LCE, underpinning potential for future increases in production within the Olaroz/Cauchari complex
Sal da Vida (“SDV”)
- SDV 1 and SDV 2 capital costs have increased to US$1,031million in-line with general industry inflation, with economics remaining robust. This cost increase incorporates the impact of engineering upgrades, Argentine inflation and new taxes on imports
- SDV 1 plans to achieve mechanical completion in H1 CY25 and first production in H2 CY25 after also incorporating engineering upgrades and experiences of other projects in the region
- Long term operating costs remain competitive at US$4,003 per tonne LCE for SDV 1 and SDV 2, and US$4,529 per tonne LCE for SDV 1 on a standalone basis making it a very competitive operation able to deliver high margins across a range of pricing outcomes
- Resource upgraded to 7.2 Mt LCE supports potential further production expansion
- SDV plans to provide 30kt of additional LCE production with first production targeted CY27
- The 2019 technical study has been updated for the 100% owned Cauchari project with production capacity of 25ktpa, operating costs at US$4,081 per tonne LCE and first production planned in CY27
- The proposed Cauchari development plan to benefit from engineering design work and learnings at Olaroz, with a significant efficiency improvement opportunity through leveraging Olaroz infrastructure
Table 1: Allkem Group Key Metrics
|Asset||Location||Production capacity conc.
|Production1Capacity LCE (‘000) t||Operating cost US$/t
|James Bay||Quebec, Canada||311||39||407||382||2.9|
|Mt Cattlin||Western Australia||220||27||850||80||1.0|
|Total Hard Rock||531||66||590||3.9|
|Production Capacity LCE (‘000) t||Operating cost US$/t
|Sal de Vida||Catamarca, Argentina||45||4,003||1,031||5.5|
|Total Allkem (LCE basis)3||179||2,152||18.9|
Table 2: Allkem Group Total Resources4
|Asset||Location||Ore Tonnes (Mt)||Grade Li2O (%)||Contained (‘000) t LCE|
|James Bay||Quebec, Canada||110.2||1.3||3,540|
|Mt Cattlin||Western Australia||12.1||1.3||390|
|Total Hard Rock
|Brine volume (m3)||Average Li
|Contained (‘000) t LCE|
|Sal de Vida||Catamarca, Argentina||1.9 x 109||724||7,172|
|Olaroz||Jujuy, Argentina||6.7 x 109||636||22,630|
|Cauchari||Jujuy, Argentina||2.2 x 109||475||5,950|
|Total Brine Resource||35,752|
|Total Allkem Resource (LCE)||39,682|
1 Spodumene concentrate production amounts shown as metrics tons of spodumene at a Li2O% grade. Conversion to LCE is 0.02552 metric tons of lithium metal to 1 metric ton of spodumene concentrate at 5.5% Li2O. Conversion to LCE is 0.02784 metric tons of lithium metal to 1 metric ton of spodumene concentrate at 6.0% Li2O.
2 NPV figures are from each project ASX release utilising Wood McKenzie pricing forecasts. Net Present Value (“NPV”) for Hard Rock assets at 8% real discount rate. NPV for Brine assets at 10% real discount rate
3 Production is on 100% basis, attributable production is 165ktpa
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Martin Perez de Solay commented:
“These project updates confirm the robust economics and tier one nature of our asset base, further de-risking company growth, future production and profitability. The studies which are underpinned by our significant operating and project development experience demonstrate low costs and low capital intensity that will maximise margins and shareholder returns throughout the pricing cycle. The Allkem project portfolio provides us with a solid base to enhance our vertical integration strategy and relationships downstream in the global supply chain.”
JAMES BAY PROJECT SUMMARY
- Updated Feasibility Study confirms a robust, high-value hard rock lithium operation utilising renewable hydropower
- Material ~108% increase in pre-tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) to US$ 2.9 billion with a strong internal rate of return and short payback period
- Recently announced Total Mineral Resource of 110.2 Mt at 1.30% Li2O, including 54.3 Mt at 1.30% Li2O in the Indicated Category, and 55.9 Mt at 1.29% Li2O in the Inferred Category with further drilling planned to test possible extensions to mineralisation
- Ore Reserve of 37.3 Mt at 1.27% Li2O provides a long life, low cost spodumene operation and remains in line with permitting considerations
- Average annual production of 311 ktpa of spodumene concentrate with an 18.8-year mine life
- Shallow, near-surface mineralisation ideal for open cut mining with a low LOM strip ratio of 3.6:1
- 2 Mtpa process plant design remains unchanged from 2021 feasibility study, producing a 6.0% Li2O spodumene concentrate with operational flexibility to produce a 5.6% Li2O spodumene concentrate
- Very similar process design and flowsheet to that already successfully employed at Mt Cattlin
- Low-cost, sustainable source of hydropower now installed to site
- Strong relationships with Cree Nation of Eastmain, Cree Nation Government and all stakeholders
4 Resources are presented as the sum of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource and are reported in line with the JORC Code (2012). The confidence categories assigned under the JORC Code are comparable to the confidence categories in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, May 2014. The reader should be cautioned that under NI 43-101 guidelines, Inferred Mineral Resources cannot be grouped with Measured and Indicated categories and that the JORC code is considered an “accepted foreign code” as described in Part 7 of the NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure . See individual project releases dated as per this release for further information
- Updated capital cost estimate (“CAPEX”) of US$381.5 million, a 34% increase since 2001 which reflects inflationary conditions
- Cash operating costs (FOB Montreal) of US$407 per tonne of 5.6% Li2O concentrate also reflecting some inflationary impact. This cost of production remains highly competitive and will deliver high margins across a range of pricing outcomes
- Pre-tax NPV of US$2.9 billion at an 8% discount rate and post-tax NPV of US$1.7 billion reflecting an increase in lithium price assumptions and market outlook
- Pre-tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 62.2% and pre-tax payback period of 1.4 years
- Post-tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 45.4% and post-tax payback period of 1.7 years
- Detailed engineering and procurement activities progressed at 80% supporting the updated cost estimate and bringing the project ready for approximately 19 months of construction once provincial authorisation is obtained
- Impact and Benefit Agreement discussions and Provincial Environmental and Social Impact Studies Review is in final stages
- Further carbon studies and initiatives underway to align the project to Allkem’s target of net-zero emissions by 2035
OLAROZ PROJECT SUMMARY5
Stage 1 and 2 (42,500 lithium carbonate equivalent tonnes per annum)
- Pre-tax NPV of US$7.01 billion at a 10% discount rate and a Post-tax NPV of US$4.56 billion
- Long term operating costs for the combined Stage 1 and Stage 2 operation are estimated at US$4,149 per tonne LCE over the LOM considering operational synergies from the joint operation of Stage 1 and 2 enabling high profit margins
- Total Mineral Resource Estimate of 22.63 Mt of LCE, a 10% increase from the previous estimate in March 2023 with a 52% increase in Measured Mineral Resources
- The Mineral Resource now comprises 11.54 Mt of LCE as Measured, and 3.83 Mt as Indicated for a combined 15.38 Mt of Measured & Indicated Mineral Resource. There is an additional 7.25 Mt of Inferred Resources for a total resource of 22.6Mt (Measured, Indicated and Inferred)
- The improvement in Mineral Resource categorisation results from reclassification of Indicated Mineral Resources between 200 and 650 m depth as Measured Mineral Resources in the pumping field area. This reflects the greater amount of information available from pumping performance since installation of the Stage 2 wells and the addition of Maria Victoria tenements
- Olaroz’s LOM production represents ~8.5% of the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, further confirming the Tier 1 status of the basin, and its potential to support additional expansions
Stage 2 (25,000 lithium carbonate equivalent tonnes per annum)
The expansion achieved first wet lithium carbonate production in July 2023. Commissioning activities are ongoing and production is scheduled for H2 CY23, ramp-up is planned to take 1 year.
5 Reported on 100% basis, AKE share is 66.5%
SAL DA VIDA PROJECT SUMMARY
Stage 1 and 2 (45,000 lithium carbonate equivalent tonnes per annum)
- Pre-tax NPV of US$5.51 billion at a 10% discount rate. The Post-tax NPV10 is US$3.18 billion
- Operating cost highly competitive at US$4,003 per tonne LCE despite increases in the price of soda ash, lime and labour costs
Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve
- Total Mineral Resource Estimate of 7.17 Mt LCE, a 5% increase from the previous estimate in 2022, with a 41% increase in Measured Mineral Resources
- Total Ore Reserve Estimate of 2.49 Mt LCE supporting a 40-year project life based on Ore Reserves only, a 43% increase from the previous statement due to a revised point of reference for Ore Reserve reporting of ‘brine pumped to the evaporation ponds’
Stage 1 (15,000 lithium carbonate equivalent tonnes per annum)
- Pre-tax NPV of US$2.01 billion at a 10% discount rate
- Operating costs of US$4,529 per tonne LCE despite increases in the price of soda ash, lime, natural gas and labour costs
Project Cost and Schedule Update
- Development CAPEX of US$374 million which is in line with inflationary conditions
- Substantial mechanical completion, pre-commissioning and commissioning activities are planned in H1 CY25 with first production planned H2 CY25 and ramp up planned to take 1 year
- The schedule adjustment comes with an improved understanding of the execution plan, the ongoing import challenges and delays experienced in country by Allkem and its contractors and vendors as well as an improved understanding of regional productivity factors
Stage 2 (30,000 tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent per annum)
Project Cost and Schedule Update
- The prefeasibility study update confirms the Stage 2 expansion will be completed and substantially the same design basis as Stage 1 with a twofold modular replication of the Stage 1 design
- CAPEX is estimated at approximately US$657 million with Stage 2 benefiting from Stage 1 detailed engineering, established on site infrastructure and established regional construction teams and facilities
- Stage 2 construction is anticipated to commence upon receipt of applicable permits and substantial mechanical completion of Stage 1 with Stage 2 first production approximately 2.5 – 3 years thereafter
CAUCHARI PROJECT SUMMARY
- Analysis based on 25,000 tonnes per annum production capacity updating the April 2019 study
- Pre-tax NPV of US$2.52 billion and Post-tax NPV of US$1.37 billion at 10% discount rate
- Operating costs of US$4,081 per tonne LCE after increases in the price of soda ash, lime, natural gas and employment costs
Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve
- Total Mineral Resource Estimate of 5.95 Mt LCE
- Total Ore Reserve Estimate of 1.13 Mt LCE supporting a 30-year project life based on Ore Reserves only, an 11% increase from the previous statement due to a revised point of reference for Ore Reserve reporting of ‘brine pumped to the evaporation ponds’
Project Cost and Schedule Update
- Development CAPEX of US$659 million for mechanical completion
- Substantial mechanical completion, pre-commissioning and commissioning activities are planned by H1 CY27 with first production planned in H2 CY27 and ramp up planned to take 1 year
MT CATTLIN RESOURCE AND ORE RESERVE ESTIMATE
The Mt Cattlin Ore Reserve estimate is based on an updated Mineral Resource Estimate released on 17 April 2023. The Mineral Resource was updated after the completion of a major infill drilling program which successfully upgraded Inferred Mineral Resources.
Allkem has reviewed and updated the Mt Cattlin Ore Reserve (Table 3 below), incorporating infill drilling results from the 2NW deposit, depleted mined material and site stockpiles at 30 June 2023 and material to be mined after this date are presented in accordance with JORC (2012) Ore Reserve Reporting.
Table 3: Mt Cattlin Ore Reserve Update at 30 June 2023
|Classification||Location||Ore Tonnes (Mt)||Grade Li2O (%)||Grade Ta2O5(ppm)||Contained Metal (‘000) t Li2O)||Contained Metal (‘000) lbs Ta2O5|
|Total Ore Reserve||7.1||1.2||120||84||1,900|
Notes: Ore Reserves mine designs were conducted on a 0.4% Li2O cut-ff grade and Ore Reserves are reported above a marginal cut-off grade of 0.3 % Li2O. Estimates have been rounded to a maximum of two significant figures, thus sum of columns may not equal.
Table 4: Mt Cattlin Mineral Resource Update as at 30 June 2023, depleted for mining
|Classification||Location||Ore Tonnes (Mt)||Grade Li2O (%)||Grade Ta2O5(ppm)||Contained Metal (‘000) t Li2O)||Contained Metal (‘000) lbs Ta2O5||Contained (‘000) t LCE|
|Total Mineral Resource||12.1||1.3||%||167||153||4,186||378|
Notes: Global Insitu Mineral Resource as at 30 June, 2023. COG 0.3% lithia. Depleted for mining 1.2Mt @1.2% lithia January-June, 2023
Table 5: Mt Cattlin Mineral Resource Update as at 30 June 2023, depleted for mining, within a RPEEE shell USD 1,500
|Classification||Location||Ore Tonnes (Mt)||Grade Li2O (%)||Grade Ta2O5(ppm)||Contained Metal (‘000) t Li2O)||Contained Metal (‘000) lbs Ta2O5|
|Total Mineral Resource||9.4||1.2||137||115||2,700|
Notes: RPEEE optimisations were conducted on a 0.4% Li2O cut-ff grade and are reported above a marginal cut-off grade of 0.3 % Li2O. Estimates have been rounded to a maximum of two significant figures, thus sum of columns may not equal
Table 6: Mt Cattlin Mineral Resources Update as at 30 June 2023, depleted for mining, exclusive of Ore Reserves
|Classification||Location||Ore Tonnes (Mt)||Grade Li2O (%)||Grade Ta2O5(ppm)||Contained Metal (‘000) t Li2O)||Contained Metal (‘000) lbs Ta2O5|
|Total Mineral Resource||3.9||1.3||201||52.4||1,700|
Notes: Mineral Resources, exclusive of Ore Reserves are reported above a marginal cut-off grade of 0.3 % Li2O. Estimates have been rounded to a maximum of two significant figures, thus sum of columns may not equal. Not constrained by the RPEEE USD1,500 shell.
RESOURCE AND ORE RESERVE CONTROLS & GOVERNANCE
Allkem continues to evolve processes to ensure that quoted Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates are subject to internal controls and external review. Mineral Resource and Ore Reserves are estimated and reported in accordance with the 2012 edition of the JORC Code.
Allkem stores and collects exploration data using industry standard software that contains internal validation checks. Exploration samples from drilling have certified reference material standards introduced to the sample stream at set ratios, typically 1 per 25 samples. These are reported as necessary to the relevant Competent Persons to assess both accuracy and precision of the assay data applied to resource estimates. In resource modelling, block models are validated by checking the input drill hole composites against the block model grades by domain.
Allkem engages independent, qualified experts on a commercial fee for service basis, to undertake Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve audits. Allkem internally reconciles the resource outcomes to validate both the process and the outcome.
The Company has developed its internal systems and controls to maintain JORC compliance in all external reporting, including the preparation of all reported data by Competent Persons who are members of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy or a ‘Recognised Professional Organisation’. As set out above, the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve statements included in this announcement were reviewed by suitably qualified Competent Persons (below) prior to their inclusion, in the form and context announced.
This release was authorised by Mr Martin Perez de Solay, CEO and Managing Director of Allkem Limited.
ABN 31 112 589 910
Level 35, 71 Eagle St
|Investor Relations & Media Enquiries
This investor ASX/TSX release (Release) has been prepared by Allkem Limited (ACN 112 589 910) (the Company or Allkem). It contains general information about the Company as at the date of this Release. The information in this Release should not be considered to be comprehensive or to comprise all of the material which a shareholder or potential investor in the Company may require in order to determine whether to deal in Shares of Allkem. The information in this Release is of a general nature only and does not purport to be complete. It should be read in conjunction with the Company’s periodic and continuous disclosure announcements which are available at allkem.co and with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announcements, which are available at www.asx.com.au.
This Release does not take into account the financial situation, investment objectives, tax situation or particular needs of any person and nothing contained in this Release constitutes investment, legal, tax, accounting or other advice, nor does it contain all the information which would be required in a disclosure document or prospectus prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act). Readers or recipients of this Release should, before making any decisions in relation to their investment or potential investment in the Company, consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to their own individual investment objectives and financial situation and seek their own professional investment, legal, taxation and accounting advice appropriate to their particular circumstances.
This Release does not constitute or form part of any offer, invitation, solicitation or recommendation to acquire, purchase, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of, or issue, any Shares or any other financial product. Further, this Release does not constitute financial product, investment advice (nor tax, accounting or legal advice) or recommendation, nor shall it or any part of it or the fact of its distribution form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or investment decision.
The distribution of this Release in other jurisdictions outside Australia may also be restricted by law and any restrictions should be observed. Any failure to comply with such restrictions may constitute a violation of applicable securities laws.
Past performance information given in this Release is given for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as (and is not) an indication of future performance.
Forward Looking Statements
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and beliefs and, by their nature, are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results, performances and achievements to differ materially from any expected future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the risk of further changes in government regulations, policies or legislation; the risks associated with the continued implementation of the merger between the Company and Galaxy Resources Ltd, risks that further funding may be required, but unavailable, for the ongoing development of the Company’s projects; fluctuations or decreases in commodity prices; uncertainty in the estimation, economic viability, recoverability and processing of mineral resources; risks associated with development of the Company Projects; unexpected capital or operating cost increases; uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones at the Company’s Projects; risks associated with investment in publicly listed companies, such as the Company; and risks associated with general economic conditions.
Subject to any continuing obligation under applicable law or relevant listing rules of the ASX, the Company disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements in this Release to reflect any change in expectations in relation to any forward-looking statements or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. Nothing in this Release shall under any circumstances (including by reason of this Release remaining available and not being superseded or replaced by any other Release or publication with respect to the subject matter of this Release), create an implication that there has been no change in the affairs of the Company since the date of this Release.
Competent Person Statement
The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results and Mineral Resources is based on information compiled by Albert Thamm, B.Sc. (Hons)., M.Sc. F.Aus.IMM (203217), a Competent Person who is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Albert Thamm is a full-time employee of Galaxy Resources Pty. Limited. Albert Thamm has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Albert Thamm consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information in this announcement that relates to the 30 June 2023 Mt Cattlin Ore Reserve is based on information compiled by Daniel Donald, B. Eng. (Mining), F.Aus.IMM (210032), a Competent Person who is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Daniel Donald is an employee working for Entech Mining Pty Ltd and has been engaged by Allkem Limited to prepare the documentation for the Mt Cattlin operation on which the Ore Reserve Report (released 1 August 2023) is based, for the period ended 30 June 2023, and has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Daniel Donald consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
Information in this announcement relating to Mt Cattlin scientific or technical information, production targets or forecast financial information derived from a production target is extracted from the report titled “Mt Cattlin Ore Reserve update confirms mine life extension” dated 16 June 2023 available at www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that all the material assumptions underpinning the scientific or technical information, production targets or the forecast financial information derived from a production target in the original market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
Any information in this announcement that relates to James Bay Mineral Resources & Ore Reserves is extracted from the report entitled “James Bay Lithium Project Update Confirms Strong Project Economics” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcements and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.
Any information in this announcement relating to James Bay scientific or technical information, production targets or forecast financial information derived from a production target is extracted from the ASX Announcement entitled “James Bay Lithium Project Update Confirms Strong Project Economics” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that all the material assumptions underpinning the scientific or technical information, production targets or the forecast financial information derived from a production target in the original market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
Sal de Vida
Any information in this announcement that relates to Sal de Vida Mineral Resources & Ore Reserves is extracted from the report entitled “Sal de Vida Update Delivers Improved Economics, Resource and Reserve” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcements and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.
Any information in this announcement relating to Sal de Vida scientific or technical information, production targets or forecast financial information derived from a production target is extracted from the ASX Announcement entitled “Sal de Vida Update Delivers Improved Economics, Resource and Reserve” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that all the material assumptions underpinning the scientific or technical information, production targets or the forecast financial information derived from a production target in the original market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
Any information in this announcement that relates to Cauchari Mineral Resources & Ore Reserves is extracted from the report entitled “Cauchari Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Update and Project Update” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcements and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.
Any information in this announcement relating to Cauchari scientific or technical information, production targets or forecast financial information derived from a production target is extracted from the ASX Announcement entitled “Cauchari Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Update and Project Update” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that all the material assumptions underpinning the scientific or technical information, production targets or the forecast financial information derived from a production target in the original market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
Any information in this announcement that relates to Olaroz Mineral Resources is extracted from the report entitled “Olaroz Mineral Resource Update, and Stage 1 & 2 Operations Update ” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcements and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Mineral Resource estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.
Any information in this announcement relating to Olaroz scientific or technical information, production targets or forecast financial information derived from a production target is extracted from the ASX Announcement entitled “Olaroz Mineral Resource Update, and Stage 1 & 2 Operations Update” released on 25 September 2023 which is available to view on www.allkem.co and www.asx.com.au. The Company confirms that all the material assumptions underpinning the scientific or technical information, production targets or the forecast financial information derived from a production target in the original market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
Not for release or distribution in the United States
This announcement has been prepared for publication in Australia and may not be released to U.S. wire services or distributed in the United States. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, securities in the United States or any other jurisdiction, and neither this announcement or anything attached to this announcement shall form the basis of any contract or commitment. Any securities described in this announcement have not been, and will not be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States except in transactions registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 or exempt from, or not subject to, the registration of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and applicable U.S. state securities laws.
APPENDIX 1 – RESOURCES & RESERVES
James Bay Mineral Resource Estimate – Effective date 30 June 2023
|Category||Tonnage||Grade||Contained lithium oxide/LCE|
|Mt||% Li2O||(‘000) t Li2O||(‘000) t LCE|
|Measured + Indicated||54.3||1.30||706||1,746|
|Total Mineral Resource||110.2||1.30||1,430||3,537|
- The Independent Competent Person, as defined by the JORC Code 2012, responsible for the preparation of this MRE is Mr. Luke Evans, P.Eng, a full-time employee of SLR. Mr. Evans is a member of L’Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec, a Recognised Professional Organisation defined by the JORC Code 2012. The effective date of the mineral resource is the 30th June 2023 (erroneously identified as Aug. 9, 2023 in the earlier news release).
- The Mineral Resource Estimate has been reported within a conceptual pit shell at a cut-off grade of 0.50% Li2O
- The Mineral Resources are Inclusive of Ore Reserves.
- The conceptual pit shell used to constrain the MRE has been defined using a spodumene concentrate price of US$1,500 per tonne, an exchange rate of CAD:US$ of 1.33, a total ore-based cost of CAD33.92 per tonne, a mining cost of CAD4.82 per tonne, a concentrate transport cost of CAD86.16 per tonne, and a metallurgical recovery of 70.1%.
- The statements of Mineral Resources conform to the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code) 2012 edition.
- Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves, as they do not demonstrate economic viability.
- The Competent Persons are not aware of any problem related to the environment, permits or mining titles, or related to legal, fiscal, socio‐political, commercial issues, or any other relevant factor that could have a significant impact on this MRE.
- The number of tonnes has been rounded to the nearest 100,000 tonnes, with any discrepancies observed in the totals due to rounding effects.
- All tonnages reported are dry metric tonnes.
James Bay Ore Reserve – Effective date 30 June 2023
|Mt||% Li2O||(‘000) t Li2O|
|Proven + Probable||37.3||1.27||474|
- The Independent Competent Person, as defined by the JORC Code 2012, responsible for the preparation of the Ore Reserve estimate is Mr. Normand Lecuyer, P.Eng., an employee of SLR. Mr. Lecuyer is a member of L’Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec (License No. 34914), a Recognised Professional Organisation defined by the JORC Code 2012. Effective date of the estimate is June 30th, 2023.
- Ore Reserves are estimated using the following metal prices (Li2O Conc = USnbsp;1,500/t Li2O at 6.0% Li2O) and an exchange rate of CAD/USnbsp;1.33.
- A minimum mining width of 5 m was used.
- A cut-off grade of 0.62% Li2O was used.
- The bulk density of ore is variable, is outlined in the geological block model, and averages 2.7 g/cm3.
- The average strip ratio is 3.6:1.
- The average mining dilution factor is 8.7% at 0.42% Li2O.
- Numbers may not add due to rounding
Olaroz Mineral Resource Estimate at August 2023
|Category||Brine volume||Average Li||In Situ Li||Li2CO3
Variance to March 2023
|Measured||3.3 x 109||659||2,170,000||11,540,000||53||%|
|Indicated||1.2 x 109||592||720,000||3,840,000||-46||%|
|Measured & Indicated||4.5 x 109||641||2,890,000||15,380,000||5||%|
|Inferred||2.2 x 109||609||1,360,000||7,250,000||21||%|
|Total||6.7 x 109||636||4,250,000||22,630,000||10||%|
Sal de Vida
Sal de Vida Mineral Resource Estimate at August 2023
|Category||Brine volume||Average Li||In Situ Li||Li2CO3
Variance to 2022
|Measured||8.8 x 108||752||660,595||3,516,000||41||%|
|Indicated||7.6 x 108||742||564,375||3,004,000||-20||%|
|Measured & Indicated||1.6 x 109||747||1,224,970||6,520,000||5||%|
|Inferred||2.2 x 108||556||122,497||652,000||5||%|
|Total||1.9 x 109||724||1,347,467||7,172,000||5||%|
|Note: Cut-off grade: 300 mg/L lithium. The reader is cautioned that Mineral Resources are not Ore Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. Values are inclusive of Ore Reserve estimates, and not “in addition to”.|
Sal de Vida Ore Reserve Estimate at August 2023
|Category||Wellfield||Time Period||Li Total Mass||Li2CO3Equivalent||Li2CO3Variance to 2022|
|Proved||Stage I East||1-7||30,541||163,000||81||%|
|Proved||Stage II Expansion||3-9||53,046||282,000||57||%|
|Probable||Stage I East||8-40||146,520||780,000||53||%|
|Probable||Stage II Expansion||10-40||236,947||1,261,000||31||%|
|Total Proved and Probable||40||467,054||2,486,000||43||%|
Note: Assumes 300 mg/L Li cut-off grade
Cauchari Mineral Resource Estimate at August 2023
|Category||Brine volume||Average Li||In Situ Li||Li2CO3
Variance to 2019
|Measured||6.5 x 108||527||345,000||1,850,000||0||%|
|Indicated||1.1 x 109||452||490,000||2,600,000||-12||%|
|Measured & Indicated||1.8 x 109||476||835,000||4,450,000||-7||%|
|Inferred||6.0 x 108||473||285,000||1,500,000||0||%|
|Total||2.4 x 109||475||1,120,000||5,950,000||-6||%|
Cauchari Project Reserve Estimate at 30 June 2023
|Category||Year||Brine Vol (Mm3)||Average Lithium Grade (mg/L)||Lithium (kt)||Li2CO3Equivalent (kt)|
- The Competent Person(s) for these Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimate is Atacama Water.
- Comparison of values may not add up due to rounding or the use of averaging methods.
- Lithium is converted to lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) with a conversion factor of 5.323.
- The cut-off grade used to report Cauchari Ore Reserves is 300 mg/l.
- Mineral Resources that are not Ore Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability, there is no certainty that any or all of the Mineral Resources can be converted into Ore Reserves after application of the modifying factors.
- The Lithium Ore Reserve Estimate represents the lithium contained in the brine produced by the wellfields as input to the evaporation ponds. Brine production initiates in Year 1 from wells located in the NW Sector. In Year 9, brine production switches across to the SE Sector of the Project.
- Approximately 25% of M+I Mineral Resources are converted to Total Ore Reserves.
- Potential environmental effects of pumping have not been comprehensively analysed at the PFS stage. Additional evaluation of potential environmental effects will be done as part of the next stage of evaluation.
- Additional hydrogeological test work will be required in the next stage of evaluation to adequately verify the quantification of hydraulic parameters in the Archibarca fan area and in the Lower Sand unit as indicated by the sensitivity analysis carried out on the model results. Ore Reserves are derived from and included within the M&I Mineral Resources in the Mineral Resource.
APPENDIX 2– JORC 2012 TABLE 1 DISCLOSURE FOR MT CATTLIN
Section 1: Sampling Techniques and Data
|MT CATTLIN LITHIUM PROJECT SAMPLING AND DATA|
|Sampling techniques||Nature and quality of sampling (e.g. cut channels, random chips, or specific specialized industry standard measurement tools appropriate to the minerals under investigation, such as down hole gamma sondes, or handheld XRF instruments, etc.). These examples should not be taken as limiting the broad meaning of sampling.
Include reference to measures taken to ensure sample representivity and the appropriate calibration of any measurement tools or systems used.
Aspects of the determination of mineralization that are Material to the Public Report.
In cases where ‘industry standard’ work has been done this would be relatively simple (e.g. ‘reverse circulation drilling was used to obtain 1 m samples from which 3 kg was pulverized to produce a 30 g charge for fire assay’). In other cases more explanation may be required, such as where there is coarse gold that has inherent sampling problems. Unusual commodities or mineralization types (e.g. submarine nodules) may warrant disclosure of detailed information.
Mt Catlin mineralization was sampled using a mixture of Diamond (DD) Reverse Circulation drill holes (RC), rotary Air Blast (RAB) and Open Hole (OH). In the north zone drilling is a 40mE x 40mN spacing and infilled to 20mE to 25mE x 20mN to 20mN in the central zone. In the south the drilling is on a 40mE x 80mN pattern. Drill holes were drilled vertical to intersect true thickness of the spodumene mineralization.
A total of 39 DD holes for 1,528.56m, 986 RC holes for 48,763m,59 OH holes for 1,999m and 23 RAB for 402m had been completed before 2017.
The drill-hole collars were surveyed by professional survey contractors. A total of 71 drill holes were surveyed by Surtron Technologies Australia of Welshpool in 2010. Sampling was carried out under Galaxy Resources QAQC protocols and as per industry best practice.
RC sample returns were closely monitored, managed and recorded. Drill samples were logged for lithology and SG measurements. Diamond HQ and PQ core was quarter-cored to sample lengths relating to the geological boundaries, but not exceeding 1m on average. RC samples were composited from 1m drill samples split using a two-stage riffle splitter 25/75 to obtain 2kg to 4kg of sample for sample preparation. All samples were dried, crushed, pulverized and split to produce a 3.5kg and then 200g sub-sample for analysis For Li (method AAS40Q), for Ta, Nb and Sn (method XRF78O) and in some cases for SiO2, Al2O3, CaO, Cr2O3, Fe2O3, K2O3, MgO, MnO, P2O5, SO3, TiO2 and V2O5 were analysed by XRF78O. Entire drill-hole lengths were submitted for assay.
A 4.5-inch diameter rod string is used and the cyclone is cleaned at the end of every 6m rod as caking occurs from the mandatory use of dust suppression equipment.
Drilling November 2018 – 2021
From 1m of drilling and sampling, two 12.5% splits are taken by a static cone splitter in calico drawstring bags. This obtains two 2kg to 4kg samples with one being retained as an archive sample and the other submitted for assay, where required an archive bag is used as the duplicate sample.
A 4.5-inch diameter rod string is used and the cyclone is cleaned at the end of every 6m rod as caking occurs from the mandatory use of dust suppression equipment.
The dominant drillhole type is RC, with over 95% of the metres being from RC drillholes.
|Drilling techniques||Drill type (e.g. core, reverse circulation, open-hole hammer, rotary air blast, auger, Bangka, sonic, etc.) and details (e.g. core diameter, triple or standard tube, depth of diamond tails, face-sampling bit or other type, whether core is oriented and if so, by what method, etc.).||RC drilling hammer diameter was generally 4 & 5/8 inches in early exploration, from 2009 and 2010 the bit diameter was 5 ¼ inches.
RC 2017 -2020
Diamond core is generally RC from surface, and either PQ size tails in weathered rock and narrowed to HQ in fresh rock (standard tubing). Core was not oriented as the disseminated and weathered nature of the mineralization does not warrant or allow it. Diamond core is typically for metallurgical test-work. Pre-collars drilled short of mineralisation.
RC 2021 A 5.25-inch face sampling hammer, used in reverse circulation. ASX (Australian Surface Exploration) drillers used for RC (including pre-collars).
|Logging||Whether core and chip samples have been geologically and geotechnically logged to a level of detail to support appropriate Mineral Resource estimation, mining studies and metallurgical studies.
Whether logging is qualitative or quantitative in nature. Core (or costean, channel, etc.) photography.
The total length and percentage of the relevant intersections logged.
|All DD, RC and OH (PC) and RAB intervals were geologically logged (where applicable); RQD (DD only), interval weights, recovery, lithology, mineralogy and weathering were recorded in the database.
The DD core was oriented using the Ezy-Mark tool and after 2019 using the Reflex ACT electronic orientation tool.
Recording of interval weights, recovery and RQD was quantitative.
|Sub- sampling techniques and sample preparation||If core, whether cut or sawn and whether quarter, half or all core taken.
If non-core, whether riffled, tube sampled, rotary split, etc. and whether sampled wet or dry.
For all sample types, the nature, quality and appropriateness of the sample preparation technique.
Quality control procedures adopted for all sub-sampling stages to maximise representivity of samples.
Measures taken to ensure that the sampling is representative of the in situ material collected, including for instance results for field duplicate/second-half sampling.
Whether sample sizes are appropriate to the grain size of the material being sampled.
All fresh rock DD core was quarter-cored using a stand mounted brick saw. Soft, weathered DD core was also sampled quarter-core, using a knife and scoop where applicable and practical.
RC samples were collected using a two stage riffle splitter. All samples were dry or dried prior to riffle-splitting.
All 2kg 1m drill samples were sent to SGS, dried, crushed, pulverized and split to approximately -75µ to produce a sample less than 3.5kg sub-sample for analysis.
Sampling was carried out under Galaxy Resources QAQC protocols and as per industry best practice.
Duplicate, blank and standard reference samples were inserted into the sample stream at random but averaging no less than 1 blank and standard in every 25 samples.
Samples were selected periodically and screened to ensure pulps are pulverized to the required specifications.
Duplicate quarter-core samples were taken from DD core at random for testing averaging one in every 25 samples.
Duplicate riffle-split RC samples were taken at random but averaging one every approximately 25 samples.
The sample sizes are appropriate to the style, thickness and consistency of the mineralization at Mt Catlin.
|Quality of assay data and laboratory tests||The nature, quality and appropriateness of the assaying and laboratory procedures used and whether the technique is considered partial or total.
For geophysical tools, spectrometers, handheld XRF instruments, etc., the parameters used in determining the analysis including instrument make and model, reading times, calibrations factors applied and their derivation, etc.
All samples were dried, crushed, pulverized and split to produce a 3.5kg and then 200g sub-sample for analysis For Li (method AS40Q), for Ta, Nb and Sn (method XRF78O) and in some cases for SiO2, Al2O3, CaO, Cr2O3, Fe2O3, K2O3, MgO, MnO, P2O5, SO3, TiO2 and V2O5 were analysed by XRF78O. This process involves fusing the sample in a platinum crucible using lithium metaborate/tetraborate flux. For Cs, Rb, Ga, Be and Nb from time to time analysis was by IMS40Q – DIG40Q to ICPMS end.
Duplicate, blank and certified reference samples were inserted into the sample stream at random but averaging one every ~25 samples. Galaxy Resources utilized certified Lithium standards produced in China and one from SGS in Australia, STD-TAN1.
Inter-laboratory checking of analytical outcomes was routinely undertaken to ensure continued accuracy and precision by the preferred laboratory.
Umpire analysis performed on pulps at Genalysis and Ultratrace Perth
2017 – 2021 QAQC
RC samples and diamond (including QA/QC samples) have been processed by Nagrom Perth, Perth Western Australia. Methods utilised from Lithium and Tantalum are ICP004 and ICP005 (Peroxide Fusion – complete). ICP005 utilises tungsten carbide bowl to reduce iron contamination at exploration and resource development stages (detection limit of 10ppm and 1ppm for Li2O and Ta respectively) Monthly review of QA/QC, which includes blanks, field duplicates, high grade standards and CRM (certified reference materials) and SRM (standard reference materials). All sampling has rigorous QAQC in terms of reference sampling as well as blank and standards introduced into the sample steam.
Standards used are ASM0343, ASM0340 AMIS0339, OREAS147, OREAS148 and OREAS149.
Standards reported only one result outside three standard deviations from 533 assays for Lithium. The majority of Tantalum standards reported within three standard deviations.
Coarse blanks have shown no evidence of systematic contamination from 2016-2021 with results consistently low.
QAQC in 2022-3 is broadly in line with the processes above, assays are by Intertek, Perth and Kalgoorlie.
Standards used are OREAS 147, AMIS0341, OREAS 751, OREAS 753, OREAS 148, AMIS0341, AMIS0341, and OREAS 147 to support Sodium peroxide fusion in Ni crucible assay method MS, OES FP6-Li/OM19. This method provides near complete recovery for most samples.
Ore grade standards e.g. Oreas 751 reported only four results outside 2 standard deviations from assays for Lithia. The majority of Tantalum standards reported within 2 standard deviations.
The data is moderately precise.
|Verification of sampling and assaying||The verification of significant intersections by either independent or alternative company personnel.
The use of twinned holes.
Documentation of primary data, data entry procedures, data verification, data storage (physical and electronic) protocols.
Discuss any adjustment to assay data.
An external geological consultant and staff have visually assessed and verified significant intersections of core and RC and PC chips.
Several core holes were compared to neighbouring RC and PC drill holes.
The geological logging of the DD holes supports the interpreted geological and mineralization domains.
Studies on assays results from twinned holes showed a close correlation of geology and assays.
Primary data is recorded by hand in the field and entered Excel spread sheets with in-built validation settings and look-up codes.
QAQC checks of assays had identified several standards out of control, these were subsequently reviewed and results rectified.
No clear and consistent biases were defined by Galaxy during the further investigations into QAQC performances although deviations were noted by Galaxy.
2018 – 2022 Verification
Primary data capture by Maxwell LogChief and management by Maxwell DataShed. Assay data loaded directly from Laboratory supplied .csv files as are downhole and collar surveys.
An independent data verification was completed as part of a 2021 Ni-43-101 filing by then competent person.
Data exported from SQL database and verified by the CP.
No adjustments are made to assay data.
Section 2: Reporting of Exploration Results
|Criteria||JORC Code explanation||Commentary|
|Mineral tenement and land tenure status||
||Mining Lease M74/244 was amalgamated and awarded on 04/08/2009 and is valid until 23/12/2030 and covers 1830 Ha.
The project is subject to normal projects approvals processes as regulated by the WA Department of Mines, Industry and Regulation.
The tenement is subject to the Standard Noongar Heritage agreement as executed 7 February 2018.
The underlying land is a mixture of freehold property and vacant Crown land. The property Freehold title is held by Galaxy Resources or its child subsidiaries.
|Exploration done by other parties||
||During the 1960’s WMC carried out an extensive drilling program to define the extent of local spodumene bearing pegmatite. The WMC work led onto a further investigation into project feasibility.
In 1989 Pancontinental Mining, Limited drilled 101 RC drill holes. In 1990 Pancontinental drilled a further 21 RC drill holes.
In 1997 Greenstone Resources drilled 3 diamond holes and 38 RC holes, undertook soil sampling and metallurgical test work on bulk samples from the mine area.
Haddington Resources Ltd in 2001 drilled 9 diamond holes for metallurgical test work and undertook further sterilization drilling.
Galaxy acquired the M72/12 mining tenement from the Sons of Gwalia administrators in 2006.
||The Mount Catlin Project lies within the Ravensthorpe Suite, with host rocks comprising both the Annabelle Volcanics to the west, and the Manyutup Tonalite to the east. The contact between these rock types extends through the Project area.
The Annabelle Volcanics at Mt Cattlin consist of intermediate to mafic volcanic rocks, comprising both pyroclastic material and lavas.
The pegmatites which comprise the orebodies occurs as a series of sub- horizontal sills, hosted by both volcanic and intrusive rocks, interpreted as a series of westward verging thrusts. Typical coarse grained spodumene (grey green colour) from the NW pegmatite shown below.
|Drill hole Information||
||Pre-2017 drilling reported 4 August 2015 by subsidiary GMM (ASX:GMM). Last prior resource and update was 28 November 2018
2019-2022 drill collars
Holes generally inclined between -75 to -80 degrees to determine true width or due to local infrastructure.
|Data aggregation methods||
Where higher grade zones internal to broader intervals of lower grade mineralization were reported, these were noted as included intervals and italicized.
No metal equivalent values are used.
|Relationship between mineralization widths and intercept lengths||
||All intersection grades have been reported previously as length weighted average grades using a 0.3% Li2O lower grade cut-off except where stated.
Intersections were calculated allowing a maximum of 2m of internal dilution with no top-cut applied. Cutting of high grades is not required due to nature of the mineralization and grade distribution/estimation.
The Mt Cattlin lithium and tantalum mineralization occurs as a thick horizontal to gently dipping pegmatite and generally lies 30 to 280m below the current topographic surface resulting in drill intercepts nearing true widths.
All reported intersections in 2023 are approximate true widths.
Diagrams are included in the text above.
||All significant intersections above 0.3% Li2O have been fully reported in previous releases.
|Other substantive exploration data||
||Fe2O3 is modelled with Li and Ta to determine the effect of deleterious chemistry and mineralogy at or near pegmatite contacts and rafts of surrounding country rock with pegmatite.|
||Development and extraction of the NW Pit Mineral Resource and ore Reserve.
Diagrams are illustrated in the text above.
Feasibility study work to trade off open pit vs underground options has commenced.
Section 3: Estimation and Reporting of Mineral Resources – Mt Cattlin
|Criteria||JORC Code explanation||Commentary|
At the time of the 2012 Mineral Resource estimates, Allkem had appointed a data administrator to manage and host the Mt Catlin database in a GBIS SQL database.
Field data was entered into project-specific password-protected spread sheets with in-built auto-validation settings. The spread sheets were emailed to head office on a weekly basis and then passed on to the data administrator, where all data was subject to validation procedures and checks before being imported into the central database. Invalid data was not imported into the central database but was quarantined until corrected. Data exports were routinely sent from head office to site for visual validation using ArcGIS and Micromine.
2017 to Jan 2019
Jan 2019 to Current
All logging is undertaken on a Toughbook using the dedicated LogChief logging system matched to the Data-shed database.
Visual validation of drilling data versus the wireframes in Surpac software is undertaken routinely by Mine Geology and Exploration personnel.
||The reporting CP has completed several site visits since 2016.|
||The geological interpretation is considered robust due to the nature of the geology and mineralisation.
Surface diamond and reverse circulation (RC) drillholes have been logged for lithology, structure, and alteration and mineralisation data.
The lithological logging of pegmatite in combination with the Li2O, Fe2O3 and MgO assays, including grain size and mineralogical differentiation, have been used to guide the sectional interpretation of the pegmatites in Leapfrog Geo modelling software.
The geological wireframes have then been used as a boundary within which internal, mineralisation wireframes have been generated in Leapfrog software using geology logging and assay data. The primary assumption is that the mineralisation is hosted within the fine-grained material within the pegmatite sills, which is considered robust.
Weathering surfaces have been updated by Allkem Resources in Leapfrog Geo software for recently completed drillholes.
Due to the consistent nature of the pegmatite identified in the area, no alternative interpretations have been considered. The pegmatites are found to be continuous over the area of the deposit.
The Li2O% mineralisation interpretations are contained wholly within the pegmatite geological units. Evidence of late-stage faulting is present and has, where appropriate, been incorporated into the geological model.
||The Mt Cattlin pegmatites strike north-south and are typically between 10 m and 30 m wide and are typically flat-lying or with a subtle dip east of around 5 to 10 degrees. Several different pegmatites have been identified, either as separate intrusions or due to fault offsets, over a strike length of 1,300 m, an across strike extent of 1,700 m and down to a depth of greater than 300 m below surface.
Thirteen pegmatites have been identified to date in the NW and SW area. They range in extent from 50 m along strike and 50 m down-dip to 650 m along-strike and 500 m down-dip. The pegmatites range in thickness from a few metres to 20 m.
|Estimation and modelling techniques||
|Grade estimation for Li2O%, Fe2O3% and Ta2O5 ppm has been completed using Ordinary Kriging (OK) into pegmatite domains using Datamine, Studio RM software. Grade estimation of Fe2O3% has been completed using OK into the encapsulating mafic waste and late-stage mafic dyke, which intersects the pegmatites.
The geological, mineralisation and weathering wireframes generated have been used to define the domain codes by concatenating the three codes into one. The drillholes have been flagged with the domain code and composited using the domain code to segregate the data. Hard boundaries have been used at all domain boundaries for the grade estimation Pegmatite waste wireframing using <0.3% lithia and < 4% Na2O.
Compositing has been undertaken within domain boundaries at 1m with a merge tolerance of 0.1 m.
Variography has been completed in Supervisor 8.14 software on an individual domain basis. Domains with too few samples have borrowed variography.
No assumptions have been made regarding the recovery of any by-products.
The drillhole data spacing ranges from 40 m by 40 m resource definition drillhole spacing out to an 80 m by 80 m exploration spacing.
The block model parent block size is 20 m (X) by 20 m (Y) by 5 m (Z), which is considered appropriate for the dominant drillhole spacing used to define the deposit. A sub-block size of 2.5 m (X) by 2.5 m (Y) by 0.625 m (Z) has been used to define the mineralisation edges, with the estimation undertaken at the parent block scale.
The Mineral Resource estimate has been validated using visual validation tools combined with volume comparisons with the input wireframes, mean grade comparisons between the block model and composite grade means and swath plots comparing the composite grades and block model grades by Northing, Easting and RL.
Mining reconciliation data for the NW and SW regions is available.
No selective mining units are assumed in this estimate.
No correlation between variables has been assumed.
Tonnes have been estimated on a dry basis.
||For the depleted reporting of the Mineral Resource Estimate, a 0.3 Li2O% cut-off within a USD 1,500 Whittle pit shell has been used.
In addition, Mineral resources, exclusive of Ore reserves are presented, above.
|Mining factors or assumptions||
||A Whittle pit optimisation has been run at 1,500 USD in order to generate a pit shell wireframe for Mineral Resource reporting purposes and to meet the RPEEE reporting requirement.
The mining assumptions/parameters applied to the optimisation are:
USD exchange rate of 0.70 Li2O cut-off of 0.4% has been applied in the Whittle optimisation.
Both Inferred and Indicated Mineral Resource classifications have been utilised in the RPEEE optimisation.
|Metallurgical factors or assumptions||
||A Li2O% metallurgical recovery of 75% and Ta2O5 ppm recovery of 25% has been applied during the pit optimisation and generation of the RPEEE pit shell.|
|Environmental factors or assumptions||
||No environmental factors or assumptions have been incorporated into this Mineral Resource Estimate since Mt Cattlin is a producing operation with Environmental approvals and an Environmental Management Plan in place.|
||No additional bulk density data has been collected in the NW Area. As a consequence, the bulk density values determined in the previous MRE (Nov 2018) have been assigned to the block model.
The bulk densities which have been assigned to the Mineral Resource block model by lithology and weathering state are:
||The resource classification has been applied to the MRE based on the drilling data spacing, grade and geological continuity, quality of the estimation and data integrity.
The classification takes into account the relative contributions of geological and data quality and confidence, as well as grade confidence and continuity.
Portions of the deposit which have been estimated in the first two estimation passes and which have been estimated with a high degree of confidence, with defined grade continuity, have been classified as Indicated Mineral Resources.
Portions of the deposit that have been estimated and have a suitable level of drilling to assume geological continuity of the pegmatite have been classified as Inferred Mineral Resources.
The classification reflects the view of the Competent Person.
|Audits or reviews||
|This 2023 Mineral Resource estimate for Mt Cattlin has been peer reviewed and validated. Original outputs in Datamine/Studio have been translated into Dassault/Surpac for further development into regularised models for the development of diluted models.|
|Discussion of relative accuracy/
||The relative accuracy of the Mineral Resource estimate is reflected in the reporting of the Mineral Resource as per the guidelines of the 2012 JORC Code.
The remaining Measured, Indicated, and Inferred material from the NW and SW region have been considered in the mineral resource.
The estimate is domained by identified pegmatite number and zoned by mineralised and un-mineralised subtypes using 0.3% lithia and Na2O < 4%.
Estimates are thus local by domain.
The same geological model and wireframes are used for grade control and mine planning in Dassault/Surpac Software.
Regularized translations of the original Datamine Studio model are used in Dassault/Surpac re-blocked to 5 x 5 x 6.25m for short term mine planning and monthly reconciliations.
Reconciliation is within tolerance for an “Indicated” resource.
Section 4: Ore Reserves
|Criteria||JORC Code explanation||Commentary|
|Mineral Resource estimate for conversion to Ore Reserves||Description of the Mineral Resource estimate used as a basis for the conversion to an Ore Reserve.||The Mineral Resource estimate (MRE) used was prepared by Mining Plus Pty Ltd under the direction of Allkem and classified in accordance with the JORC 2012 guidelines. The MRE was natively prepared in Datamine software with a record date of 31 December 2022, and a summary was released to the ASX on 17 April 2023.
The MRE was transformed into a diluted, regularised, mining model inclusive of mining recovery, by Orelogy Mine Consulting.
Reconciliation between the two models was considered acceptable, and the inbuilt dilution and mining recovery reflect the historical values of 17% dilution and 94% mining recovery which were derived from site model to process plant reconciliations.
|Clear statement as to whether the Mineral Resources are reported additional to, or inclusive of, the Ore Reserves.||The Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of the Ore Reserves.|
|Site visits||Comment on any site visits undertaken by the Competent Person and the outcome of those visits.
If no site visits have been undertaken indicate why this is the case.
|The Competent Person has undertaken a site visit within the current reporting period.|
|Study status||The type and level of study undertaken to enable Mineral Resources to be converted to Ore Reserves.
The Code requires that a study to at least Pre-Feasibility Study level has been undertaken to convert Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves. Such studies will have been carried out and will have determined a mine plan that is technically achievable and economically viable, and that material Modifying Factors have been considered.
|Mt Cattlin is a mature operating mine and a Feasibility Study (FS) investigating the continuation of current operations is the basis of the conversion of the MRE to an ORE.
The FS has addressed all material Modifying Factors required for the conversion of Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves and has shown that the mine plan is technically achievable and economically viable. Where possible and appropriate, the FS has used parameters in line with the current operations.
|Cut-off parameters||The basis of the cut-off grade(s) or quality parameters applied.||A marginal cut-off grade of 0.3% Li2O has been used for reporting the ORE.
The economic cut-off grade calculation is approximately 0.2% Li2O, but the more conservative cut-off grade was adopted based on historical operating experience as an approximation of the practical process plant recovery constraint.
|Mining factors or assumptions||The method and assumptions used as reported in the Pre-Feasibility or Feasibility Study to convert the Mineral Resource to an Ore Reserve (i.e., either by application of appropriate factors by optimisation or by preliminary or detailed design).||An optimisation of the MRE was undertaken with General Mine Planning (GMP) software, both Geovia and Datamine products. Comparisons between the outputs showed them to be materially equivalent.
The addition to the specific modifying factors described in the sub-sections below, the optimisation data inventory and input parameters included:
Where supplied by Allkem, these input parameters were reviewed by Entech and considered appropriate for the current spodumene concentrate market.
|The choice, nature and appropriateness of the selected mining method(s) and other mining parameters including associated design issues such as pre-strip, access, etc.||The ORE includes the Stage 4 North-West (NW) pit which is a down dip extension of the current Stage 3 NW pit i.e., deepening of current floor, and cutting back of the current pit rim.
The mining methodology is a continuation of the conventional hard rock open cut practices of the current operations with continuous drill, blast and excavate cycles (with ore grade control as required).
The existing operations provide access to the operations of the ORE.
|The assumptions made regarding geotechnical parameters (e.g., pit slopes, stope sizes, etc), grade control and pre-production drilling.||A comprehensive geotechnical study appropriate for an FS level was undertaken by Entech to determine the pit design parameters used in the ORE. Three dedicated geotechnical diamond drill holes, totalling 651 m, located in the vicinity of the final pit walls were drilled, logged, sampled and laboratory tested to collect detailed geotechnical data. In addition, photogrammetric modelling of the current pit walls, structure digitisation, in-pit mapping and data from previous studies was utilised to characterise the rock mass and provide input data for stability analysis that were used to derive the recommended design parameters.
97% of the rock within the pit containing the ORE is competent fresh (unweathered) material, and key design parameters derived for fresh rock were:
Pit designs were reviewed by Entech’s Principal Geotechnical Engineer to ensure compliance with geotechnical intent.
|The major assumptions made, and Mineral Resource model used for pit and stope optimisation (if appropriate).||The underlying Mineral Resource model was jointly developed by independent consultant Mining Plus Pty Ltd and Allkem Ltd (see ASX release 17 April 2023). A dilution study was then carried out by consultant Orelogy Mine Consulting (Orelogy) to determine the appropriate methodology to create a diluted, regularised Mining Model that could be readily used in GMP software. The key steps and outcomes from the dilution study and modifications to create the Mining Model were:
|The mining dilution factors used.||No external dilution factors have been applied. The Mining Model described above compared to the source undiluted model has a back-calculated dilution of 16%.|
|The mining recovery factors used.||No external mining recovery factors have been applied. The Mining Model described above compared to the source undiluted model has a back-calculated ore loss of 5.7%.|
|Any minimum mining widths used.||A minimum mining width of 40 m has been applied in the pit designs.|
|The manner in which Inferred Mineral Resources are utilised in mining studies and the sensitivity of the outcome to their inclusion.||Inferred Mineral Resources comprise 12% of the MRE and were used to inform the optimisation.
The designed pit inventory has 0.5% of Inferred Mineral Resource which has been treated as waste for the economic assessment. The design of the pit is not sensitive to the inclusion, or not, of Inferred Mineral Resource.
|The infrastructure requirements of the selected mining methods.||The ORE as an extension of current operations, and the current site infrastructure is suitable for proposed mining methods.|
|Metallurgical factors or assumptions||The metallurgical process proposed and the appropriateness of that process to the style of mineralisation.||Ore is processed through the existing crushing, screening, ore sorting, and heavy media separation (HMS) plant with a nominal and permitted capacity of 1.8 Mt per annum. The Mt Cattlin plant has been in operation for over a decade and is suitable for this style of mineralisation.
|Whether the metallurgical process is well-tested technology or novel in nature.||The Mt Cattlin plant is comprised of well tested technology and suited to the production of saleable spodumene concentrate.
Several ancillary circuits have been added over the life of the plant including optical ore sorters and fines recovery to incrementally enhance project economics. All the processing technology has been in use in this or other configurations for numerous to many years and are not regarded as novel.
|The nature, amount and representativeness of metallurgical test work undertaken, the nature of the metallurgical domaining applied and the corresponding metallurgical recovery factors applied.||As an operating processing facility, the Mt Cattlin plant has amassed significant knowledge and expertise in the treatment of the Mt Cattlin ores.
Fine grained spodumene recovers poorly in the Mt Cattlin processing plant. The underlying MRE model has explicitly domained the fine-grained material and excluded it from the new in-situ MRE inventory.
Confirmatory metallurgical test work on ore in the Stage 4 extension is in progress.
A regression formula developed from historical operating performance that uses head grade to predict plant recovery, for a given grade of concentrate, is in daily use at Mt Cattlin. The Feasibility Study has used this algorithm to calculate metallurgical recovery in the economic analysis.
|Any assumptions or allowances made for deleterious elements.||Allowances have been made for iron oxide (Fe2O) content of the spodumene concentrate. The (potential) penalty element is estimated in the MRE, reported in the ORE, monitored during processing, and quantified in the final spodumene concentrate product. Revenue pricing used in the cashflow model incorporates likely penalty charges.|
|The existence of any bulk sample or pilot scale test work and the degree to which such samples are considered representative of the orebody as a whole.||The ORE is a continuation of the ore zones that have been successfully mined and processed at Mt Cattlin. Bulk samples and/or pilot scale testing is not required due to the demonstrated process flowsheet performance.|
|For minerals that are defined by a specification, has the ore reserve estimation been based on the appropriate mineralogy to meet the specifications?||The Ore Reserves have been based on lithia (Li2O), Tantalite (Ta2O5), and iron oxide (Fe2O) grade ranges that are acceptable to existing sales contracts and readily saleable into the international market.|
|Environmental||The status of studies of potential environmental impacts of the mining and processing operation. Details of waste rock characterisation and the consideration of potential sites, status of design options considered and, where applicable, the status of approvals for process residue storage and waste dumps should be reported.||The Mt Cattlin mine site is an operating and mature operation with well-understood impacts and established environmental management systems and capability. The site operating procedures are consistent with the principles of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems.
Key potential risk areas include noise, vibration and air emissions/quality are regulated, and have specific management plans to ensure compliance.
Waste rock and processing tails stored on site are classified as Non-Acid Forming (NAF) and chemically benign. The waste rock is predominantly unweathered (fresh), competent, basalt and andesites which form stable and erosion resistant landforms. Mt Cattlin pegmatite tailings are a coarse, sandy, material that drains readily and exhibits excellent stability on placement. The Heavy Media Separation process used to produce spodumene concentrate does not introduce chemicals into the tailings stream.
A 2023 Mining Proposal for pit and waste dump expansion required for part of this ORE has been submitted to the WA regulator, with approval expected in the third quarter of 2023. Further approvals will be required during the life of this ORE, potentially including pit and waste dumping area increases and a new In-Pit Tailings Storage Facility.
There is no reason to expect that all required approvals cannot be gained in sufficient time to allow the exploitation of this ORE as planned.
|Infrastructure||The existence of appropriate infrastructure: availability of land for plant development, power, water, transportation (particularly for bulk commodities), labour, accommodation; or the ease with which the infrastructure can be provided, or accessed.||The Mt Cattlin mine site is a mature operating mine. All mining, processing, power and water supplies, road and port infrastructure are in place and operational.
Accommodation is based near site for a mixed commute and residential workforce. The operation has access to a nearby regional bituminised airstrip capable of landing 100-seat jets. Sealed roads link the site to Perth, and major regional towns.
|Costs||The derivation of, or assumptions made, regarding projected capital costs in the study.||The FS has assessed and included appropriate capital costs. As an existing operation the capital required for the operating life of the ORE is not significant.|
|The methodology used to estimate operating costs.||The operating costs have been derived two sources:
|Allowances made for the content of deleterious elements.||The revenue prices used in the economic analysis have incorporated all applicable penalty charges as modelled, including deductions for product grade less than the benchmark 6.0% spodumene grade (SC6), and for any iron oxide content above limits.
The charges are not material in the overall pricing.
|The source of exchange rates used in the study.||The exchange rate of consequence is Australian to United States of America (USD:AUD) currency exchange rate as spodumene product is sold in US dollars (USD). As an existing Western Australian based operation, most costs are in denominated in AUD.
A flat 0.70 USD:AUD exchange rate was used in the cashflow modelling that was provided by Allkem.
|Derivation of transportation charges.||Product transportation and handling charges (road haulage from Mt Cattlin to Esperance port, and Esperance port costs) were provided by Allkem and were derived from existing contracts.
The product revenue price used was discounted to be net of sea freight.
|The basis for forecasting or source of treatment and refining charges, penalties for failure to meet specification, etc.||The headline external pricing forecasts for spodumene concentrate grading 6.0 % Li2O were discounted for expected product grades of between 5.2% Li2O and 5.5% Li2O. The discounts were derived from existing contract penalty charges. Penalties were also applied to Fe2O3 exceedances if they occurred.|
|The allowances made for royalties payable, both Government and private.||Selling costs have allowed for a 5.0% ad-valorum Western Australian state royalty and $1.50/t of ore processed third party royalty.|
|Revenue factors||The derivation of, or assumptions made regarding revenue factors including head grade, metal or commodity price(s) exchange rates, transportation and treatment charges, penalties, net smelter returns, etc.||The ORE head grade is reported by the GMP software interrogating the diluted mining model within the designed pit. Normal good practice checks have been made in this process, as well as reporting through alternative GMP software, and comparing to similar internal work by Allkem.
The spodumene concentrate commodity price used in the cashflow model is based on pricing by an external independent market forecaster, with appropriate modifications for Mt Cattlin product specification. Allowances have been made for surface and sea freight charges based on current site budgets and forecasts. The realised price (i.e., FOB; net of charges) forecast over the likely period the product from this ORE will be sold into market has an average of A$2,978/dmt and a median of A$2,963/dmt.
Minor revenue is derived from the sale of a by-product Tantalite concentrate and the sale price used is based on current contracts which average approximately A$35/ dry lb.
Transport charges are derived from existing contracts, and likewise penalty charges are taken from existing sales contracts.
|The derivation of assumptions made of metal or commodity price(s), for the principal metals, minerals and co-products.||As described above, the commodity price assumptions have been taken from independent market analysts and existing contracts and are deemed appropriate.|
|Market assessment||The demand, supply and stock situation for the particular commodity, consumption trends and factors likely to affect supply and demand into the future.||An Independent market researcher (commercial in confidence) forecasts for demand, supply, and stock levels during the likely market window of the product of this ORE have been used to characterise the international market for spodumene concentrate.
The demand for spodumene concentrate is primarily driven by automotive batteries, and the underlying strong global growth in electric vehicles. From extreme deficit in supply over the past two years that has seen steep price growth and incentive for new supply, it is forecast that the overall market is moving into surplus, with intermediate fluctuations, until the end of the decade, from where it will again retreat into deficit.
The accuracy of these forecasts will be dominated by the accuracy of the assumptions quantifying the rate of growth in mine supply, and the rate of growth of EV sales.
|A customer and competitor analysis along with the identification of likely market windows for the product.||The Mt Cattlin spodumene concentrate is currently sold through offtake agreements mainly to mainland Chinese convertors. Offtake agreements have pricing conditions reflecting spodumene market prices.
During the market window applicable to this ORE, the Mt Cattlin product moves from being fully contracted, to a mix of contract and spot market exposure, to fully available for spot pricing. This mix of contract vs. spot markets exposure is subject to continuous review and adjustment.
Significant global supply chain diversification is underway which is seeing new lithium processing plants being developed in countries other than China, adding diversification to the potential customer base.
|Price and volume forecasts and the basis for these forecasts.||Overall market supply and demand, along with customer and competitor factors have been considered in the compiling of the pricing forecast applicable to this ORE.
The optimisation price selected of US$1,500/t of spodumene concentrate was conservatively lower than the average pricing forecast of the likely market window. The cashflow model pricing used was based on the current forecasts for the likely market window, modified for the specification of the Mt Cattlin product, as discussed above in the Revenue Factors section. It is assumed that all product produced is sold into existing contracts and spot markets.
|For industrial minerals the customer specification, testing and acceptance requirements prior to a supply contract.||Mt Cattlin concentrates are sold into typical international specifications, the more relevant specifications being Li2O grade, Ta2O5 grade (both revenue factors), and Fe2O3 grade (a potential penalty factor). Mt Cattlin product does not typically attract Fe penalties, and the lithia grade is forecast to range between 5.5% Li2O and 5.2% Li2O depending on market assessment.
Customer specification and acceptance of the product rely on a typical process of samples taken by an independent agency and conformance of the assays obtained by both the seller and buyer to an allowable range of variance.
|Economic||The inputs to the economic analysis to produce the net present value (NPV) in the study, the source and confidence of these economic inputs including estimated inflation, discount rate, etc.||The cashflow model is uninflated and applies a 10% discount rate to calculate the project NPV, which was robustly positive.
Mining costs were derived by a competitive market tender process based on a designed and scheduled pit, and existing site infrastructure. Processing, General & Administration, product haulage, port, and shipping costs reflect corporate forecasts based on historical site actual data modified for Allkem’s view on FY24 market conditions.
As an ongoing operation, capital costs were relatively minor but included an allowance for developing a new In-Pit Tailings Storage Facility (IPTSF) during the life of mine, buffering land purchases, as well as ongoing sustaining capital. An end of mine allowance of $17.5 M has been incorporated into the economic analysis.
The overall cost base assumptions and analysis methodology are considered appropriate, robust and at FS level of accuracy.
|NPV ranges and sensitivity to variations in the significant assumptions and inputs.||The cashflow model has been tested for sensitivity to key economic assumptions. As is typically found, the revenue assumptions (e.g., sale price, USD:AUD exchange rate, head grade, plant recovery) have a much greater influence than cost assumptions (e.g., operating costs, capital costs). At 20% individual variances to any of these variables the project remains robustly economic over life of mine and generates positive cashflows.
Stripping Ratio is generally a proxy for risk, and the individual stages of the overall project (as currently evaluated) have quite different stripping ratios than the overall project average. The NPV sensitivity to key variables is therefore significantly different if analysed by stage. If the most sensitive stage (Stage 4-1) is assessed by the most influential variable (Revenue) at the most negative value (-20%), the cashflow is weakly positive whilst the NPV falls to zero. The following stage (Stage 4-2) and the sum of the two stages (Stage 4-1 + Stage 4-2) remain with strongly positive cashflows and NPV’s when Revenue is tested at -20%.
|Social||The status of agreements with key stakeholders and matters leading to social licence to operate.||As an operating site Mt Cattlin has a well-established and implemented Environmental Management Plan and suite of operating procedures consistent with the principles of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems and includes, but is not limited to:
Allkem have advised the Competent Person that there are no current issues that would be expected to endanger the ‘social licence to operate’.
|Other||To the extent relevant, the impact of the following on the project and/or on the estimation and classification of the Ore Reserves:||Commentary below.|
|Any identified material naturally occurring risks.||The FS has investigated the potential for flooding via a hydrology study which informed the design of the abandonment bund and the Cattlin Creek diversion channel and associated bunding. No residual issues were apparent.
The TSF design has included analysis of performance under seismic conditions, which was found to be acceptable.
The life of the ORE at less than five years is considered too short to be meaningful affected by longer term climate change. Short term variability in the form of floods or droughts is unlikely to materially affect the operation.
The site continued operating through the recent global pandemic.
|The status of material legal agreements and marketing arrangements.||All material legal and marketing agreements are in place and accounted for.|
|The status of governmental agreements and approvals critical to the viability of the project, such as mineral tenement status, and government and statutory approvals. There must be reasonable grounds to expect that all necessary Government approvals will be received within the timeframes anticipated in the Pre-Feasibility or Feasibility study. Highlight and discuss the materiality of any unresolved matter that is dependent on a third party on which extraction of the reserve is contingent.||The ORE stated are located on active mining leases, in good standing.
All required permits for the current Stage 3 works, which represents approximately 40% of this ORE, are approved and are in place.
A Mining Proposal that describes the first phase of the Stage 4 expansion has been submitted to the WA Regulator for approval, which is expected in August 2023. In addition to the usual technical and regulatory compliance assessment that defines Mining Proposal assessment, a tenement status conversion from an Exploration Licence (E) to a General Purpose Licence (G) is required to enable waste dumping as a permitted activity, and the Mining Proposal to be subsequently approved. The E is held by Allkem and is in good standing, and the conversion to a G is expected to happen in May 2023 as per standard procedure in the timeframe estimated for overall Mining Proposal approval.
Post receipt of the Mining Proposal approval described above, subsequent permitting applications will then be made for the second phase of the Stage 4 expansion, including the next In-Pit Tailings Storage Facility (IPTSF). The second phase approvals are expected to be gained by the end of the first quarter of 2024, allowing sufficient time, including contingency, before the planned works are required to commence.
|Classification||The basis for the classification of the Ore Reserves into varying confidence categories.||The Mineral Resources above an in-situ economic cut-off grade within the designed open pit and below the surveyed topography surfaces (as of 31 March 2023) have been modified by the application of suitable modifying factors and has been classified Probable, based on the Measured or Indicated classification of the Mineral Resource estimate.
The surface stockpiles are classified as Probable Ore Reserves to simplify reporting. Some stocks such as ROM ore would normally qualify as Proved, but the downgrading is not material to the ORE.
The level of work undertaken through the FS is considered sufficient for the classification of Proved and Probable Ore Reserves.
|Whether the result appropriately reflects the Competent Person’s view of the deposit.||Mr. Daniel Donald, the Competent Person for this Ore Reserve estimation, has reviewed the work undertaken to date and considers that it is sufficiently detailed and relevant to allow declaration of these Ore Reserves.|
|The proportion of Probable Ore Reserves that have been derived from Measured Mineral Resources (if any).||As described above, all surface stocks have been classified as Probable when it may have been possible to classify some as Proved. Any potential upgrading would have no material effect on the ORE.|
|Audits or reviews||The results of any audits or reviews of Ore Reserve estimates.||The Ore Reserve has been estimated by independent consultants Entech Pty Ltd with assistance from Allkem and Strategic Metallurgy with the MRE, mining model, and processing areas respectively.
Entech have undertaken internal peer review during the process.
|Discussion of relative accuracy/ confidence||Where appropriate a statement of the relative accuracy and confidence level in the Ore Reserve estimate using an approach or procedure deemed appropriate by the Competent Person. For example, the application of statistical or geostatistical procedures to quantify the relative accuracy of the reserve within stated confidence limits, or, if such an approach is not deemed appropriate, a qualitative discussion of the factors which could affect the relative accuracy and confidence of the estimate.||The Competent Person deems that the methodology applied to arrive at the Ore Reserve estimate for Mt Cattlin is appropriate and defendable.
The overall accuracy of the cost estimate used in the ORE is considered to be ±15%. The cost estimates have been derived from competitive market tender for mining costs, and actual site operating data for processing and General and Administration (G&A) costs, so the global accuracy is considered robust.
The current South-East In-Pit Tailings Storage Facility (SE IPTSF) capacity will be reached by the second-half 2024, and deposition will switch to the nearby NE IPTSF, which will have capacity for the remainder of the life of mine. The detailed design, costing and permitting of the NE IPTSF has not yet been finalised. Whilst the NE IPTSF capital expenditure (capex) is immaterial in the overall project cashflow, the estimation has been conservatively calculated and is at a PFS, rather than FS-level of accuracy. There is no reason to expect that permitting approvals will not be gained for the proposed NE IPTSF when applied for.
The Probable ore stockpiles include 900 kt @ 0.8% Li2O of tailings from early project life that are planned to be retreated at mine closure. The economic analysis test has used conservative metal recovery (30%) and product grade specifications (4.5% Li2O) indicated from metallurgical test work to date. Test work is continuing and flowsheet development is also underway but currently the level of accuracy is PFS rather than FS. The contribution of the tailings retreatment at mine closure is not considered material to the overall project.
|The statement should specify whether it relates to global or local estimates, and, if local, state the relevant tonnages, which should be relevant to technical and economic evaluation. Documentation should include assumptions made and the procedures used.||The statement relates to global estimates of a mine scale.|
|Accuracy and confidence discussions should extend to specific discussions of any applied Modifying Factors that may have a material impact on Ore Reserve viability, or for which there are remaining areas of uncertainty at the current study stage.||Confidence in the application of the modifying factors is appropriate for the estimate.
Historically disproportionate amounts of fine-grained ore in the ROM feed negatively affected plant recovery in the second half of 2022. This has since been identified in the Mineral Resource and domained out of the new MRE which underpins this ORE.
|It is recognised that this may not be possible or appropriate in all circumstances. These statements of relative accuracy and confidence of the estimate should be compared with production data, where available.||The contract mining cost data which was derived from competitive market tender has also been compared to actual site production data. All other operating cost data is directly derived from actual production data. In summary, the cost data used compares very well with production data and incorporates the inflationary/pandemic effects seen over the previous several years.
Processing plant throughput and recovery data has been derived directly from production data, and therefore compare very well.
The mining model used to evaluate the ORE incorporates regularised blocks at SMU size, and mining dilution and mining recovery derived from actual production data and plant reconciliations. This new mining model has only been used in three month-end reconciliation at this point in time. The new model is expected to continue to reconcile well due to the technical improvements described above.