Marula Mining, an African mining and development company, has announced the start of mineral processing at the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine in South Africa. The initial delivery of 1,000 tonnes of high-grade lithium ore is set to begin.
The processing operations, which began in November 2022, are focused on reprocessing existing stockpiles to produce a commercial grade lithium ore of between 4.00% and 5.50% Li2O, and to remove the stockpiles to allow for drilling and feasibility study work to potentially establish a long-term lithium mining operation.
And The CEO of Marula Mining, Jason Brewer, praised the efforts of their contractors Southern Metals Processing for their achievement in reaching this stage within four months of starting the reprocessing activities and being ready for delivery under a US$5 million Lithium Prepayment Facility secured in October 2022.
• In aggregate approx. 4,000 tonnes of material is either packaged in one tonne bags or contained in the new run-of-mine stockpiles pending final sorting and sizing
• Processing of the existing stockpiles is ongoing with all mobile mining equipment on site and operational
• Mine layout optimization work ongoing with upgrades already completed on haul roads and access ramps to the stockpiles and all key aspects of site infrastructure meeting expectations
• Processing plant equipment fully established on site and crushing and screening of material operating to budgeted levels
• Check samples from bagged high-grade ‘run-of-mine’ lithium ore has been taken for analyses as part of the final grade and ore quality reconciliation required under the Prepayment Facility
• Sampling being undertaken and managed by the Company’s consultants at various laboratories in South Africa to set proper testing protocols and procedures
for deliveries under the Prepayment Facility and future long-term offtake arrangements
Long-term offtake discussions are also now being progressed with multiple parties for both material from the reprocessing of the existing stockpiles and the potential hard rock conventional open pit lithium mining operation being planned by the company.
Marula’s Board and management team will be on site in mid-February 2023 to oversee ongoing processing activities and deliveries under the Prepayment Facility.