True Gold ups the ante, adds $14 million into Karma gold project
Canadian miner True Gold Mining Inc. has announced it will inject an additional $14 million into building the $131.5 million Karma gold project in Burkina Faso, drawing from its $100 million stream financing from its partnership with Franco-Nevadas Corporation and Sandstorm Gold Bank Ltd.
“There is an atmosphere of excitement on site with a workforce of over 500 focusing on earthworks and the processing plant final assembly,” said Christian Milau, True Gold President and CEO.
“We have progressed rapidly with site development and construction, highlighted by commissioning of the mine fleet, completion of the raw water pond excavation and initial construction of the raw water pipeline.”
• Related content: True Gold Announces Agreement to Purchase Mining Fleet for Karma Project
This the third draw the Vancouver-based miner has made, bringing the total amount drawn to $71.6 million with roughly $37.5 million in cash remaining.
The additional financing will ensure construction remains on schedule with the planned placing of ore on the heap leach pads in early 2016 and fits first gold pour, which is expected during the end of the first quarter in 2016.
According to Milau, the Karma mine is in full construction with all required personnel on site. Highlights since the last project update include:
• Excavation of raw water pond completed
• Burying of the barrage raw water pipeline commenced
• Water pipeline from barrage to site 20% complete
• Excavation of storm water pond commenced
• Excavation of Pregnant Leach Solution (PLS) pond commenced
• Stripping of Cell 1 of heap leach pad completed
• Mine fleet commissioned (six Komatsu 785 trucks, PC 3000 excavator, WA800 loader)
• Assembly of hard rock crusher has commenced
• Assembly of Absorption, Desorption and Refining (ADR) plant structural steel has commenced
Planned infrastructure activities upon delivery at site:
• Assembly of assay lab
• Assembly of gold room structural steel
• Assembly of the cement silos
• Commissioning of the remaining three generators and full completion of the power plant
Located in West Africa, the Karma gold mine is expected to produce 97,000 ounces a year and will become one of the lowest-cost gold mines in the region.
British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars
The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change.
It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.
British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad.
Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe
After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company.
“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”
Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector.
Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial.
Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production
“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”
The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction.
Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably.
“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.
“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”
Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK.
“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”
Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.