Year in Review: Leo Lithium lays the foundations for Goulamina Project in 2022

Leo Lithium (ASX:LLL) officially listed on the ASX on 23 June following a demerger with Firefinch (ASX:FFX), splitting Firefinch’s gold and lithium assets. 

Since then it has been progressively developing the Goulamina Lithium Project, located 150km from Mali’s capital, which is being developed in a 50:50 joint venture with Ganfeng Lithium Group Co Ltd (SHE:002460).

Partnerships, personnel and project infrastructure defines H1

Kicking off the June quarter, Leo raised $100 million in an initial public offering (IPO) and subsequently listed on the ASX.

Shortly after this, the company signed an agreement for a US$40 million debt facility with Lithium du Mali and GFL International Co., Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co.

Leo hit the ground running and announced a deal in which it secured offtake for 100% of Goulamina’s stage one spodumene production.

During this quarter the company recruited key executives and project managers including Project Director Tom Blackwell, Project Manager Bolaji Okubajo, and Chief Financial Officer and Joint Company Secretary Joe Belladonna.

Leo also installed drillers and a pioneer camp at Goulamina and upgraded the site access road. Long-lead items were also procured during the quarter.

Development steams ahead in September 2022 quarter

In the September quarter, Leo continued engineering and drafting in accordance with the baseline plan, with overall engineering being 30% complete by the end of the quarter.

The company also tendered supply contracts for infrastructure including a jaw crusher, cone crushers, ball mill, magnetic separators, thickeners, and permanent accommodation units.

Site activities also increased in the September quarter and included installation of the pioneer camp, continuation of the drilling program, completion of the initial site access road, commencement of fencing, installation of a water bore and installation of a communications tower.

Leo then announced some structural changes, appointing Rick Crabb as its new Non-Executive Chairman.

It then commenced resource drilling at Goulamina, which recorded spodumene intercepts of up to 2.93% Li2O at the Danaya Domain. The results gathered from this drilling assisted in forming a new geological model for Danaya.

Leo announced in mid-November it had appointed Lycopodium to conduct engineering and procurement work at Goulamina.

A few days later, the company announced it had executed an agreement with Terminal Vraquier Abidjan for port services including product unloading, storage and ship loading of Goulamina spodumene concentrate at the Abidjan Port in Côte d’Ivoire.

In late November, Leo announced Ron Chamberlain was replacing Joe Belladonna as CFO and joint company secretary after Belladonna left the company due to personal matters.

Finally in December, the company announced it had uncovered further ‘high-grade’ drilling results at Danaya.

For 2023, Leo states it will continue to develop Goulamina with a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) update scheduled for Q1.

The company will also continue development activities at the project, with first production at Goulamina slated to occur in the first half of 2024.

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.