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Canada

PAK Project

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StagePre-Feasibility
Commodities
  • Lithium
  • Spodumene
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe PAK Lithium Project represents a high-grade, large tonnage, pure lithium resource in a new, premium lithium mineral district in north-western Ontario. Strategically located in the Great Lakes region near the United States border, Frontier is developing the first fully integrated lithium mining and processing operation in Ontario with an aim to become Canada's lithium champion and a significant supplier of spodumene concentrates and battery-grade lithium chemicals to the growing electric vehicle and energy storage markets across North America.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Mitsubishi Corp. 7.5 % Indirect
Frontier Lithium Inc. 92.5 % Indirect
The Property is presently owned 100% by Frontier Lithium.

On March 4, 2024, Frontier Lithium Inc. announced a definitive agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation ("Mitsubishi") (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 8058:JP) to establish a joint venture partnership ("JV") for the PAK Lithium Project mine and planned lithium chemicals conversion facility.

The key terms of the Transaction are summarized below:

* Mitsubishi will acquire an initial 7.5% interest in the JV for C$25 million ("Tranche 1").

* Post completion of the DFS, Mitsubishi will have the right to acquire an additional 17.5% interest in the JV to a total of 25% interest at a price based on the net value of the Project as shown in the DFS. ("Tranche 2").

* Frontier anticipates these conditions to be satisfied in 2025.

On April 25, 2024, through the joint venture partnership, as initially announced on March 4, 2024, Mitsubishi has acquired an initial 7.5% interest in the Project.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Pegmatite

Summary:

Deposit Types
Frontier Lithium’s target or deposit model is the highly evolved, granitic, rare-element lithium-cesium-tantalum bearing (LCT) complex type, petalite subtype pegmatite. The Tanco pegmatite situated in the Bird River belt in southeastern Manitoba is the best known and a world-class example of this type of deposit model.

Of the five classes, the rare-element class is the group with the most attractive economic potential and can represent economic sources of tantalum, ceramic grade spodumene, rubidium, and the main cesium ore mineral, pollucite.The lithium rich, rare-element pegmatites are not common and comprise <0.1% of the total known pegmatites (Kesler, et al, 2012).

The rare-element class of granitic pegmatites is generated by the differentiation of fertile, S-type granitic plutons. This differentiation process of the parental granite is accompanied by the progressive accumulation of lithophile rare-elements as well as elements such as thallium, tantalum, hafnium, gallium, germanium, boron, fluorine, and phosphorus (Cerný and Ercit, 2005). The pegmatite field results when the lithophile rare-element enriched residual melt is expelled from the fertile granite and assuming suitable channels exist migrates outward and upward away from the granite.A field can be comprised of many pegmatites over a distance of a few kilometres from the source granite. The field itself shows an increasing fractionation moving away from the source granite.

The economic concentrations of the lithophile rare-elements will occur in pegmatites crystalizing from the most highly evolved melts. Some of the lithophile rare-elements may occur in separate zones, which may allow for selective exploitation. Economic tantalum mineralization can be complex and the host mineralogy for rubidium can be different in different zones, but pollucite is the main cesium mineral and according to Kesler et al (2012) spodumene is the most economically important lithium mineral.

PAK Pegmatite Mineralization
Upper Intermediate Zone (UIZ)
The Upper Intermediate Zone (“UIZ”) represents the lithium zone within the pegmatite and is dominated by “SQUI” (Spodumene + Quartz Intergrowth), a term used to describe anisochemical reversion resulting in the replacement of primary petalite by oriented spodumene + quartz intergrowth (London, 1984), with lesser grey K feldspar and primary white spodumene in quartz. Phosphate minerals such as montebrasite (Breaks et al., 1999) and apatite, and lithian mica are common accessory minerals.

Central Intermediate Zone (CIZ)
The Central Intermediate Zone (“CIZ”) is located in structurally higher portions of the pegmatite and represents the tantalum and rubidium zone of the pegmatite. The CIZ is in contact with both the Upper Intermediate Zone (UIZ) and Upper Wall Zone, and persists to the southeast edge of the outcrop where it is believed the pegmatite continues under the till cover.To the southeast, the CIZ is intersected by channels CH-1 and CH-7 where it consists of similarly sized fragments of randomly oriented coarse K-feldspar + mica + quartz. Micas appear to alter primary K-feldspar.Blue apatite prisms up to 1 cm wide and several cm’s long accompany the mica-rich zones.In the adjoining area to the northeast of CH-7, the K-feldspars are more or less completely replaced with lithian mica + quartz. In this area veinlets and patches of lepidolite are common. Channel 1 (CH-1) contains the highest tantalum grades found to date in the exposed pegmatite, which persist in the subsurface in drillholes PL13-001 and -006, in addition to high rubidium and elevated cesium grades.To the northwest, channels CH-8 and CH19 intersect the central portion of the exposed CIZ where it consists of predominantly grey K-feldspar with minor lithian mica + quartz alteration. Drillholes PL13-004 and -003 confirm the extension of the CIZ into the subsurface in this area, where it features notable cm-scale blebs of the rare cesium mineral pollucite, and high tantalum and rubidium grades.

Lower Intermediate Zone (LIZ)
The Lower Intermediate Zone (LIZ) comprises the bulk of the exposed pegmatite and is considered an intermediate stage zone with significant lithium, tantalum and rubidium.The zone comprises predominantly K-feldspar, Na-feldspar, SQUI and lithian muscovite. Pollucite also occurs in an intersection of LIZ in drillhole PL13-005. The zone has undergone both ductile and brittle deformation at the apparently structurally lowest portions of the pegmatite. Ductile deformation is manifested as a banded appearance on surface, where seams of oriented mica provide a planar fabric.

Wall Zones
The Wall Zones (upper and lower) of complex LCT type pegmatites are generally characterized by the occurrence of brick-red K-feldspar (perthite) and simple mineralogy (Cerný, 2005, Cerný and Vanstone, 1996). The zone mineralogy is simple, but the brick-red colouration of the K-feldspar is more common in the portion of the pegmatite in close proximity to the metasediments.

The Upper Wall Zone found in the southwest portion of the pegmatite exposure, is in contact with the lithium rich UIZ and is composed of quartz with lesser pale-red coloured K-feldspar, minor phosphates and accessory beryl and lithian mica. The exposure of this zone is limited.

The Lower Wall Zone is mineralogically similar to the Upper Wall Zone.A common feature of the footwall Wall Zone in the more complex LCT-type pegmatites is the presence of bands of sodic aplite (“footwall aplite”). These sodic bands are generally not common in the Upper Wall Zone. The Pakeagama Lake pegmatite is somewhat more complex as bands of what appears to be pre-existing banded sodic aplites are found throughout the pegmatite. The contact with the LIZ is gradational and is defined by the general absence of SQUI within the wall zones and the change in colour of the K feldspars from pale-red to the light grey commonly found throughout the pegmatite. Like the LIZ, this zone has undergone deformation.

Spark Pegmatite Mineralization
Two predominant lithologies occur within the Spark pegmatite. These are an early aplite that occurs ubiquitously throughout the pegmatite with what appears to be a later phase of coarser-grained feldspar quartz-spodumene-muscovite overprinting the aplite. The aplite ranges from grey to greenish-grey to purplish-grey and is dominated by fine albite and quartz. Intervals containing abundant fine- to coarse grained muscovite are common, and pink garnets a few millimetres in size are common predominantly in the more quartz-rich aplites. Common accessory minerals in the aplites are black prismatic tourmaline, fluorapatite, and rare coarse-grained lollingite.

The later phase that appears to overprint the aplite at Spark has similar lithology and texture to the Lower Intermediate Zone (LIZ) at PAK and has been geologically classified as such. The LIZ at Spark consists of coarse to megacrystic grey to tan K-feldspar up to 20 cm in size (typically 2-5 cm), common to abundant fine to coarse-grained white to light grey spodumene with varying textures, muscovite, and quartz. K-feldspar and quartz show graphic texture in some intersections. Intervals of aplite up to a couple meters thick also occur in the LIZ at Spark.

There is a narrow interval (around 3 m thick) present at surface and in the subsurface in the western portion of the Spark pegmatite consisting of dark-coloured muscovite, dark grey quartz, megacrystic grey K-feldspar, and common blue apatite. The mineralogy and texture of this interval is similar to the Central Intermediate Zone (CIZ) at PAK. Both aplite and LIZ at Spark are weakly to moderately deformed with a preferred foliation steeply dipping to sub-vertical and trending 070 to 100.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnitsLOM
Lithium Hydroxide t 556,200
Spodumene Concentrate kt 526

Operational metrics

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* According to 2021 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Cash costs LiOH USD  ....  Subscribe
Cash costs Spodumene USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Li2O (technical grade) USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Li2O (chemical grade) USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price LiOH-H2O USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2021 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

Currency2021
OP mining costs ($/t milled) USD 3.48 *  
* According to 2021 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
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OP OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M CAD 1,808
Transportation (haulage) costs $M CAD 444.4
G&A costs $M CAD 70.2
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Required Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

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Aerial view:

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