Corica Mali, a subsidiary of Corica Mining Services, has been awarded the open-pit mining services contract at Leo Lithium’s Goulamina project in Mali, a contract valued at approximately $348 million.
The contract, awarded following the completion of a competitive tender process and extensive due diligence, encompasses six months of pre-production activities at Goulamina followed by a fixed five-year term.
The scope of the contract comprises grade control, drill and blast, load and haul, and plant ore feed services. The planned material movement target is 18-20 Mt/y over the term. Corica has already mobilised to site under an early works contract and is currently undertaking the pre-strip and direct shipped ore (DSO) mining and crushing services.
Corica has a successful track record operating in the West African region for over 20 years, and has over 2,000 employees, according to Leo Lithium. It is currently providing large-scale mining services to a number of leading ASX and TSX listed mining companies across seven mining operations in Mali and neighbouring countries of Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. This includes the Syama open-pit operation (operated by Resolute Mining), the Waghnion mine (majority owned by Endeavour Mining) and the Tongon mine (majority owned by Barrick Gold).
Goulamina is a spodumene project with development underway, located 50 km west of Bougouni in Mali with all approvals and key permits received to bring the project into production. An updated definitive feasibility study was completed in December 2021, which outlined conventional open-pit mining methods involving drilling, blasting, loading and hauling. High-quality concentrate has been validated by test work, including production of concentrate grade of 6% Li2O and low mica. Leo Lithium and Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd own the project through a 50:50 joint venture, with the Government of Mali having the option to take up a 10% free carried interest in the project.
Leo Lithium Managing Director, Simon Hay, said: “We are delighted to appoint Corica as our mining services contractor following an intensive tender process. Corica has a long history and strong presence in Mali and will bring substantial local employment and supplier opportunities to the region.
“With the mining contractor now in place, Leo Lithium has taken another major step towards realising its target of first spodumene concentrate production in the first half of 2024. We look forward to working with Corica over the long term, commencing with DSO activities this quarter.”