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Rodinia Lithium going full steam ahead in 2012 with Diablillos project

With news of the drilling of its first production well, 2012 looks set to be a busy one for Rodinia Lithium (CVE:RM), the development-stage Canadian mineral exploration company focused on lithium assets in North America and Argentina and Nevada, USA.

The lithium explorer has interests in four salars – salt deposits – in Argentina. The key salar property is Diablillos, where the company holds 100 percent of the extraction rights for this lithium-potash-boron project in Salta province.

The company also operates an exploration project in Clayton Valley, Nevada.

Starting in 2015, Rodinia ramp to production of about 25,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year from Argentina, or about six percent of the world’s annual supply, with a co-product of potash, according to analyst estimates.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it would begin drilling its first production well at the Salar de Diablillos.

In November 2011, the company’s preliminary economic assessment for Diablillos indicated a potentially low cost operation with a net present value as high as US$964 million, and a mine life of greater than 20 years.

Operating costs per tonne, excluding potash and boric acid credits, were projected to be as low as $1,519 per tonne of battery-grade lithium carbonate for the base case, and $1,486 per tonne for the 25,000 tonne per year alternative. This for a product that currently sells for north of $6,000 per tonne.

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