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Goulamina Project Details

The Goulamina Lithium Project located in southern Mali, approximately 150km south of the country’s capital of Bamako, is one of the largest undeveloped hard rock lithium deposits globally. Leo Lithium plans to develop the world class Goulamina Lithium deposit into West Africa’s first operating lithium mine.

Project Description

The Goulamina Lithium Project (Goulamina) is a spodumene project with development underway, located 50km west of Bougouni in Mali with all approvals and key permits received to bring the project into production.

An updated Definitive Feasibility study (DFS) was completed in December 2021.

Conventional open-pit mining methods involving drilling, blasting, loading and hauling will be applied to the Goulamina Lithium Project.

High quality concentrate has been validated by test work, including production of concentrate grade of 6% Li2O, and low mica. Goulamina concentrate has all the preferable characteristics for battery applications.



  • Simple “whole of ore” flotation circuit
  • Testwork validates quality spodumene concentrate with >6% Li2O, <0.6% Fe2O3 and low mica

Geology of Goulamina

  • Goulamina is located within the Bougouni region of south-western Mali, where broadly north-south trending belts of Birimian aged meta-volcanic and metasedimentary rocks are intruded by syn- and post-orogenic granitoids
  • The granitoids host an array of spodumene bearing pegmatite dykes and sills.
  • The deposit is between 1 and 2 kilometres in length, and consists of pegmatite dykes in the North eastern part of the resource area that are up to 100m in width.
  • The Main, West I, West II, Sangar I and Sangar II pegmatites strike NNW–NW and dip from 50 to 70 degrees to the NE-ENE
  • The pegmatite contains between 0.5% and 25% of the lithium bearing pyroxene mineral spodumene, resulting in grades between 0.1% Li2O and 6.0% Li2O
  • The pegmatites are comprised of both coarse-grained pegmatite (up to >10cm spodumene blades and white fine-grained (<1mm) aplite or albitite


  • Wide zones of spodumene-bearing pegmatites with geometries amenable to simple open-pit mining and minimal dilution
  • 23 year+ Reserve life
  • Low life of mine strip ratio of 3.3:1

Environmental Management Plan

The Company has complied with all requirements under the Malian Mining Code, including developing detailed impact assessments, management plans and rehabilitation plans.

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA):

  • The Malian Mining Code requires that applications for an exploitation license are accompanied by an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)
  • The ESIA was carried out by Digby Wells Environmental, one of the largest environmental consulting firms in Africa
  • To address these potential impacts, the ESIA contains an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP)
    • The ESMP establishes a detailed framework for the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of environmental and social performance to ensure risks are effectively mitigated

Developments in Mali

  • The Republic of Mali is a country in West Africa with a population of approximately 20 million
  • While the country has historically operated as a stable democracy, Mali is currently facing a complex political and security crisis which is impacting the centre and northern parts of the country (Goulamina is located in the south)
    • In August 2020, a coup placed the military in power however the transitional government has previously committed to holding democratic elections
  • Despite Mali’s recent political instability, all current mines have reported no interruption to normal operations and the country is operating largely as normal
    • This is due to the central role mining plays in the economy

Land Tenure and Environmental Approvals

Leo Lithium has proposed a number of community development initiatives aimed at improving the wellbeing of the surrounding communities.

Mining Operations

  • Open-pit mining operations to be conducted via conventional drill-and-blast and load-and-haul methodologies
  • Mining to take place over four key areas (Main, Sangar, Danaya and West)
  • Geometry and shallow nature of the orebody results in a low LOM strip ratio of 3.3:1
  • Well defined ore-waste contacts promote strong ore hygiene and minimal mining dilution

Site Infrastructure

  • 200-room permanent camp
  • On-site power station with Build-Own-Operate strategy – fuel sources to include diesel and could be part of a solar-hybrid solution
  • Water-supply from Sélingué Dam and additional water from the tailings facility recovery
  • Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) with downstream construction method
  • Spodumene concentrate likely to be hauled via road transport to Abidjan Port in Côte d’lvoire

Process Plant

  • Process plant and flow sheet was designed by Lycopodium based on the results from the PFS and DFS metallurgical testwork programs, and optimised through collaboration with Ganfeng as part of DFS Update
  • ROM: Process plant is designed to treat 2.3Mtpa with ore hauled from open pits and stockpiled on a ROM pad, and designed to expand to 4Mtpa. Stage-2 targeting construction completion 18 months after commissioning of Stage 1
  • Crushing: Primary jaw crusher and cone crusher circuit
  • Milling: 7.7MW ball mill designed to grind to P80 ~106 – 150μm for optimum flotation
  • Magnetic Separation: Magnetic separation for iron removal prior to flotation
  • Flotation: Multi-stage flotation circuit

Community Engagement

Leo Lithium has proposed a number of community development initiatives aimed at improving the wellbeing of the surrounding communities.

Exploitation Permits

  • Deposit lies within the Torakoro Exploitation licence (PE 19/25)
    • Licence granted for a period of 30 years on 23 August 2019
  • The land is owned by the State and there is no freehold in areas Leo Lithium are looking to mine

Lithium Market Dynamics

  • Price impact of new hard rock supply is dependent on mines arriving on time and producing to specification – spodumene producers may take longer to ramp-up than anticipated
  • Double digit lithium demand growth forecasted for the next decade
  • Upside is represented by evolving battery chemistry, particularly for a lithium metal anode
  • Further advancement and enforcement of government policy and strict emissions standards across China and Europe expected to drive prices upwards
    • China is targeting new energy vehicles (NEV’s) to grow from 5% of new sales currently to 20% in 2025 and 50% in 2035

History of Goulamina

Firefinch has systematically progressed the development of the Goulamina deposit to an FID approved project over the span of approximately 6 years.