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American Lithium has reported a “very large” increase in the value of its Falchani project, in Peru, with the 2024 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) calculating an aftertax net present value (NPV) of $5.11-billion at $22 500/t of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

This compares with an NPV of $1.5-billion at $12 000/t LCE in the 2019 PEA.

“The very large increase in NPV, combined with a low initial capex and robust economics in the updated PEA for Falchani are the culmination of successful work programmes at site and flow sheet optimisation over the last couple of years combined with an improved pricing environment,” commented CEO Simon Clarke.

The Falchani base case, which focuses only on LCE production, calculates an internal rate of return of 32% and an aftertax payback of three years. Initial capital costs are estimated at $681-million.

The PEA mine and processing plant produces 2.64-million tonnes of LCE over a 43 year mine life, with an operating cost of $5 092/t.

“The low operating cost potential at Falchani with costs of less than $5 100/t LCE, puts it among the lowest cost next-tier lithium projects under development globally,” said Clarke.

He also reported that the project had the potential to produce sulphate of potash fertiliser and cesium sulphate as byproducts, which would be key for the Peruvian agriculture sector.