The company is expected to receive the required permits and regulatory approvals and complete a definitive feasibility study (DFS) by the end of 2019.
Piedmont president and chief executive officer Keith D. Phillips said: “We continue to make good progress in several areas critical to our strategy, and remain on-track to begin construction in early-2020, consistent with the schedule we established in late-2017.
“As the only conventional lithium project in the USA, we have attracted considerable strategic interest and have engaged in initial conversations with parties in the lithium, mining, chemicals, battery, automotive, and private equity sectors.
“We plan to appoint financial and legal advisors in the coming weeks to assist in the evaluation of strategic and financial plans as we approach a construction decision.”
Piedmont has recently increased its overall land position by 15% to 2,105 acres.
The company’s Core Property now comprises 1,004 acres, representing an 86% increase from the Core land position underlying the maiden resource estimate.
Test work evaluating Dense Medium Separation (DMS) technology remains ongoing at SGS.
Preliminary DMS results indicate the potential to include DMS circuitry in the Piedmont concentrator’s design.
The results of DMS test work are expected in May 2019 and locked-cycle flotation tests will also be performed.
The results of the test work program will be used to update the process design from the scoping study and to design a pilot program for later in 2019.
Resource updates expected in 2019
Piedmont’s phase 4 drill campaign continues with three rigs actively drilling.
The company expects that phase 4 drilling will result in a maiden resource estimate for the Central Property in April 2019 and an update to the Core Property resource in June/July 2019.
Technical studies underway
Marshall Miller has started mine design, sitewide civil design, and waste rock stockpile planning for the project to support permit activities, scoping study update and future DFS.
These studies are expected to continue throughout 2019 with planned completion by the end of 2019.
Strategic discussions initiated
Piedmont has been engaged in numerous preliminary offtake, financing and strategic conversations over the past several months.
Interested parties are of a global nature, and include companies from the lithium, mining, chemicals, battery, automotive and private equity sectors.
Piedmont expects to appoint financial and legal advisors in the coming weeks to assist in the evaluation of strategic and financing option