BAMAKO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Australian lithium miner
Firefinch Ltd expects its Goulamina project in Mali to
start production in late 2023 or early 2024, its country
director Seydou Semega told Reuters on Thursday.
The company foresees annual production of over 436,000
tonnes of spodumene concentrate, the ore from which lithium is
extracted, making Goulamina one of the largest developments of
its kind in the world.
Semega said the project had seen some delays because of the
"Now things are returning to normal," he said on the
sidelines of an industry event in Bamako.
Lithium prices have soared this year as automakers invest
billions of dollars in a transition to electric vehicles,
boosting demand for batteries which use lithium.
Construction at Goulamina should start in the second quarter
of 2022 and last 18 months, after which production will start in
late 2023 or early 2024, Semega said, forecasting output of
450,000 tonnes per year over the project's 23-year projected
In June, Firefinch signed a deal to jointly develop and
operate Goulamina with China's Ganfeng Lithium, one
of the world's top producers of the mineral. Under the deal,
Ganfeng was going to invest $130 million for a 50% stake.
Firefinch is due to make a final investment decision (FID)
on the project in December - a key condition for Ganfeng to make
$91 million of its funding available.
(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo
Writing by Alessandra Prentice
Editing by Marguerita Choy)