Cypress Development Corp. (CYP:TSX.V; CYDVF:OTCQB; C1Z1:FSE) filed an NI 43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Nevada-based Clayton Valley lithium project, which CEO Bill Willoughby called "a significant milestone," in a news release. The project advanced from the initial drill hole through the PEA stage in fewer than two years.
The company had announced the results for the PEA on September 6. As a reminder, the PEA for Clayton Valley outlined a 32.7% internal rate of return, a $1.45 billion net present value 8% and a 2.7-year payback period. It projected the mine would produce 15,000 tons per day of lithium carbonate for 40 years and initial capital costs would be about $482 million over two years.
The report, prepared by Global Resource Engineering (GRE) in Denver, Colo., is available at SEDAR and on Cypress Development's website.
According to Cypress, next for Clayton Valley is a prefeasibility study, which will include additional infill drilling and various tests and studies—metallurgical, geophysical, hydrological and geotechnical—all aimed at fleshing out Clayton Valley's economic assumptions.
"Our next steps have the potential to unlock shareholder value as we continue with infill drilling, further metallurgical studies, and a prefeasibility study to provide more detailed information related to the project’s economic assumptions," Willoughby added.
The goals of metallurgical testing, already underway, are to define ideal leach conditions, configure the processing plant and "demonstrate production of high purity lithium carbonate suitable for battery usage," the company stated.
With infill drilling, scheduled to start in one to two months, Cypress aims to upgrade resource categories and optimize the mine production schedule.
In the PEA, GRE recommended additional efforts. They include testing to determine the potential to mine, as byproducts, rare earth elements, most notably those identified during the PEA, scandium, neodymium and dysprosium. GRE also suggested Cypress evaluate different processing methods, such as membranes and ion exchange resins, and conduct "trade‐off studies related to capital and saleable electrical generation for the acid plant," noted the news release.
The prefeasibility study, whose estimated budget is about $800,000, is expected to be finished in Q1/19.
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