Sigma Lithium starts building at site of largest hard rock deposit in Americas

TSXV-listed Sigma Lithium has commenced the construction phase at its Grota do Cirilo lithium project in Brazil, which is the largest hard rock lithium deposit in the Americas.

The company is currently building the production plant foundation and infrastructure at the project, and is on track to begin lithium production in the fourth quarter of 2022. Sigma added that it has the funds to meet the requirements under its proposed construction debt facility.

Phase 1 of the production plant has been designed to produce up to 220,000 tonnes per year of high purity 6% battery grade lithium concentrate, equal to about 33,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

Sigma is currently conducting a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) for a prospective second production phase, after a preliminary economic assessment (PEA), released in June, doubled production capacity of battery grade lithium concentrate to around 440,000 tonnes per year (66,000 lithium LCE).

Should the second production phase be successfully delivered, Grota do Cirilo will fall just outside the world’s top five lithium producers in terms of output capacity after Albemarle, SQM, Ganfeng, Pilbara Minerals and Allkem (formerly Galaxy Resources and Orocobre).

Sigma’s co-CEO, Ana Cabral-Gardner, believes that Brazil has the potential to become a ‘green lithium powerhouse’, with the project to be powered by a hydroelectric plant 50 km away.