Leo Lithium executes agreement for port services to export spodumene concentrate in Côte d’Ivoire

Leo Lithium (ASX:LLL) reports it has executed an agreement for port services, including product unloading, storage and ship loading of Goulamina Lithium Project spodumene concentrate product at the Abidjan Port in Côte d’Ivoire.

The company says the agreement is between Lithium du Mali, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leo, and Terminal Vraquier Abidjan (SEA-Invest), and secures storage for the Goulamina product at Abidjan Port for a period of 10 years.

Under the agreement, Leo has secured warehouses with a footprint of 9,000m-square for product storage directly on the wharf of the Port of Abidjan, which the company equates to around 60,000 tonnes of product storage.

Goulamina Process Plant Layout

Leo Lithium Managing Director Simon Hay said the first plank of the company’s logistic strategy is now in place.

“We have secured ideal storage facilities for Goulamina spodumene concentrate product on the berth at the Port of Abidjan”

“We have secured ideal storage facilities for Goulamina spodumene concentrate product on the berth at the Port of Abidjan, a major West African deep-water harbour suitable for the large bulk carriers that will transport our product to end users.

This is a fantastic outcome as it will minimise material movements and optimise logistics costs.

We are very pleased to commence our relationship with SEA-Invest, who provide full port services and be an essential link to our supply chain. SEA-Invest have an excellent reputation as an international port operator and have been active in Africa for over 16 years.”

Leo reports the agreement stipulates a minimum product throughput of 250,000 tonnes per annum, however there is no upper limit on quantities which can be exported, and the agreement includes handling unit rates and unloading rates which are in line with costs forecast in the definitive feasibility study (DFS) update.

The company also says there is no capex required from Leo as SEA-Invest will be responsible for making investments to upgrade the warehouses and make it suitable for product storage.

Leo notes the facilities are well established and minor upgrades will be completed to enable product receival and export from July 1, 2023, allowing for the potential acceleration of the Goulamina project timeline.

The company and SEA-Invest will finalise and execute a full Operations Agreement over the period through to H1 2023 although this agreement locks in the key terms. An option for extension will be included in the Operations Agreement, in line with SEA-Invest’s port concessions with the Abidjan Port Authority.

The Port of Abidjan is a major West African deep water port with ‘significant’ bulk mineral handling capability, and the warehouse secured by Leo is adjacent to Berth 14 and has a capacity for handymax sized ships up to 55,000 tonnes.

The port is located around 1,000km from Goulamina, and Leo intends to truck product to the port using logistics contractors, resulting in minimal capex for the company.

Leo also intends to maintain 2 export channels for risk mitigation reasons, and it reports it will examine alternative ports at Dakar, Senegal and San-Pedro, Cote d’Ivoire, and it will continue to engage with road transport contractors on a mine gate to port service with further announcements expected in H1 2023.

Leo Lithium is a lithium production company focused on the Goulamina Lithium Project, located in Mali.

Images: Leo Lithium Ltd & iStock
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.