Signed via the company’s Cote d’Ivoire subsidiary KANI CI, the agreement is expected to lead to a cost-effective solution for transporting bulk spodumene concentrate from the project to the port of Abidjan.
“Building a strong network”
Mali managing director Chris Evans said: “The company is building a strong network of partnerships in West Africa in the lead-up to the publication of the Goulamina Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and this MoU with CIM is another good example.
“CIM is a reputable company with a strong operating record in both Mali and Cote d’Ivoire and we look forward to developing a more formal arrangement that will deliver transport and overall operating cost savings for Goulamina and aid in optimising CIM’s trucking operations to and from Abidjan Port.”
At present, CIM’s Cote d’Ivoire-based entities operate a truck fleet which regularly transports cement products from Abidjan to the Malian capital of Bamako.
These trucks mostly return to Abidjan empty, passing along the sealed highway that runs within 10 kilometres of the Goulamina project site.
The MOU sets out a framework for the two companies to evaluate operational opportunities that could benefit both parties.
This could include potentially backloading CIM trucks returning to Abidjan with bulk spodumene concentrate from Goulamina as well as backloading the trucks with other goods (provisions, spare parts and consumables) on their way from Bamako to Goulamina.
Evaluating standalone services
The companies will also evaluate the potential for CIM to provide standalone transport services to Mali Lithium and the Goulamina project and will engage in a joint strategy to support the transport and logistics route between Bamako and Abidjan.
This could include the establishment of fuel storage infrastructure and administration facilities at border crossings.
The pricing information from CIM, for both backloading and standalone transport options, will be included in the Goulamina DFS, which is scheduled for completion in mid-May.