Australian miner Desert Lion Energy’s objective to deliver the country’s first large-scale lithium mine is on the horizon.
Tim Johnston, President and Chief Executive Officer recently told media that having ticked all of the pre-project development boxes that guarantee a financially viable operation, the company is looking to start producing a lithium concentrate product by early 2020.
Located in a mining-friendly jurisdiction with all the required supporting infrastructure already in place to support its project and a high quality asset, the lithium mine explorer and developer offers the market another attribute which truly distinguishes it other lithium juniors – a CEO with extensive lithium project delivery experience across the globe.
A mechanical engineer and CFA charter holder, Johnston worked at global engineering firm Hatch for 10- years where in that time he helped set up a lithium speciality practice in Australia in 2008, which followed on the success of building Galaxy Resources’ (now Tianqi) lithium carbonate plant in China – the first ‘Western style’
lithium plant built, together with other work we did in the sector at the time.
“We saw this as an opportunity to become the specialist engineering firm to provide support for lithium developments around the world.
“It grew into a successful practice after which I took the technical skills set across to our management consulting and advisory practice where we also acquired lithium-related work for a number of different companies including SQM and Rio Tinto – helping them understand what makes a viable lithium project,” Johnston said.
Desert Lion Energy is at the front-line of the sector and potentially less than 12 months from production start-up.
Africa is a hive of activity with early-stage lithium juniors looking to develop new mines and contribute to the rapidly increasing demand for lithium ion batteries.
Desert Lion Energy’s lithium tenement lies within the Damara Belt – a well-known, large pegmatite belt that runs across Namibia.