Scoping studies of mining investment projects are based on initial drilling data and expert assumptions, generally including an elementary mine plan, a processing method and preliminary estimates of the financial outcomes. They are not detailed enough for investment decision making but should provide at least sufficient knowledge of the project’s risks.
In this paper, the Cínovec lithium project in the Czech Republic will be assessed at the scoping study level. Data used for this analysis were collected by the Czechoslovakian government from the 1960s to the 1980s. Nevertheless, only information related with significant drill intercepts and the analysis made of the samples was used. Thus, the conclusions that were obtained cannot be considered in any way as a professional recommendation for investment.
The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that scoping studies based on adequate data gathered from similar mining investment projects around the world can help to make the case for quick, early, and sound strategic decisions, something that may be especially crucial for small mineral development companies to decide whether they should proceed with further project developments.
The basis for this analysis will be the previously published paper, “Lithium mining: accelerating the transition to sustainable energy”, in which five ready-to-go lithium mining investment projects were studied around the world: Whabouchi Project (Canada), Keliber Project (Finland), Cauchari-Olaroz Salars Project (Argentina), Sonora Project (Mexico), and Pilgangoora Project (Australia). Also used from this paper was the probable upper limit that was estimated for lithium carbonate battery-grade spot prices.