Leo Lithium takes pride in validating DSO haulage routes for Goulamina Lithium Project

Leo Lithium (ASX:LLL) has made ‘substantial’ progress to defining optimal materials handling solutions to deliver both direct shipping ore (DSO) and spodumene concentrate from its Goulamina Lithium Project in Mali.

Leo Lithium reports it has achieved key milestones on logistics to deliver both materials from its joint venture (JV) Goulamina project in Mali to ports in Côte d’Ivoire.  The company reports that it seeks production by H1 2024.

The company notes inspections and discussions have confirmed the suitability of the San Pedro Port in the west of Côte d’Ivoire to act as a secondary port, with Leo Lithium’s senior management driving the entire route from mine site to port in late March. 

It is reported that this trip confirmed the quality of the road access between the site and port was of a ‘high standard’ and suitable for transporting bulk materials at the required rate.

Leo Lithium says the improved road conditions, in conjunction with the efficient border crossing at Niougoni means that potential exists to reduce the cycle time for the round trip from site to port and return from the 6 days as assumed in the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).     

First revenue from the DSO opportunity remains on track for H2 2023. 

Commenting on the validation of haulage routes, Leo Lithium Managing Director, Simon Hay, says: “With the trucking routes extensively assessed and a port provider secured, we have further de risked the development of the DSO opportunity as well as first concentrate production from Goulamina in 2024 and I look forward to updating the market on further details around our proposed DSO operations in the coming months.

“With the trucking routes extensively assessed and a port provider secured, we have further de risked the development of the DSO opportunity as well as first concentrate production from Goulamina in 2024…”

The San Pedro and Abidjan ports are both well-run operations, with the potential for backload at both options set to deliver enhanced cost efficiencies and give us substantial flexibility in our haulage operations.

Pleasingly, we have received significant interest from numerous capable and established trucking contractors for the trucking tender and we expect to finalise the trucking contract in the near-term.”

The company also notes nominal payloads for its proposed trucks have increased by 32% to 50 tonnes from 38 tonnes that was the basis of the DFS. Leo believes the increase in payload, combined with better-than-expected road conditions will reduce absolute truck numbers required, as well as potentially generating enhanced cost efficiencies. 

Additionally, tenders have been issued and confirmed for 5 West African-based trucking contractors to transport the DSO material from site to both the Adibjan and San Pedro ports. Completion of review of the tenders is expected to occur by the end of April, with all contractors able to deliver DSO material to the port by Q3 of CY2023.  

With discussions having been initiated with the Port of San Pedro, Leo Lithium announces it will continue to proactively evaluate other potential port options, with Dakar, Senegal expected to be assessed once resolution has been reached with San Pedro. 

Leo Lithium is an ASX-listed pure-play lithium company focused on developing its world-class Goulamina Project alongside its JV partner Ganfeng Lithium Group (SHE:002460). The project is equally owned by both parties and represents the next lithium project of ‘significant’ scale to enter production, making it the first of its kind in West Africa.

Images: Leo Lithium Ltd
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.