Following the publication of this study, we highlighted our concern regarding the justification for the large (77.9%) increase in the average life of mine petalite concentrate price used in the updated DFS.
Prospect believes that the Arcadia Project has the potential to produce and sell a premium technical grade, ultra-low iron petalite concentrate, which it also believes will command a significant premium to the previous price used for chemical-grade petalite concentrate.
At the time of the DFS, we didn’t have a great enough understanding of the price differential between technical and chemical grade petalite, and we still don’t as it’s a niche market and there is limited data available on technical grade petalite pricing.
The announcement today goes some way to alleviate that concern by demonstrating the company’s potential to sell a technical grade product, as samples of the potential product from Arcadiahave progressed through the secondary qualification process with one of the world’s largest glass-ceramic manufacturers, based in Europe; having said that, we still don’t have enough information on the pricing differential.
For Prospect to pass the final step in the product qualification process, its technical petalite product needs a full test in a production kiln. This is expected to be undertaken later in 2020, once the pilot plant is constructed and larger volumes of product are available. This can be considered a very import future milestone for the company as it seeks to demonstrate the viability of its petalite strategy.
Interestingly, Prospect is also in discussions with another leading glass-ceramic producer, based in Europe and is engaging with other glass and ceramics customers across Europe, Asia and Africa.
Prospect believes that the Arcadia project will be one of only two mines in the world capable of producing technical grade petalite and it also believes it can potentially be the largest producer if this proves to be the case it would in our view cause significant disruption to the current technical grade petalite market.