Bacanora Lithium PLC (LON:BCN) announced it has commenced initial site activities at the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico.
The lithium development company said the milestone comes after last week’s US$65mln (£47mln) fundraise which, in combination with existing cash and the undrawn portions of its debt financing facility, will finance Bacanora’s 50% share of the capital cost required for Stage 1 of the project.
WATCH: Bacanora Lithium ‘fully financed and ready to develop the Sonora mine project’ following fundraise
The AIM-listed firm is working with partner Ganfeng Lithium, the world’s largest lithium metals producer, with production of battery grade lithium products scheduled for 2023.
It said that it has engaged a local specialist ecological services company based in Sonora to begin initial site works.
These activities will involve the rescue and removal of surface vegetation and topsoil in the area required for the construction of the lithium processing plant.
The excavated material will be stockpiled at a location adjacent to the plant site and will be stored in an approved manner in order that it can be incorporated into the future project rehabilitation schedule.
A team of 15 personnel has been deployed to site, including two ecologists, a biologist, and a forestry engineer, most of whom reside locally, Bacanora said.
In addition, the Bacanora construction team has commenced the preparatory work required to upgrade the main access road to the site in preparation for providing access for heavy equipment to start the bulk site earthworks later in the year.
The tender process for this work has begun and is focusing on using local construction and engineering groups from the surrounding Sonora region.
Work is also underway to commence the tender process for the site accommodation and ancillary facilities, scheduled to be commissioned by the end of the second quarter.
The miner admitted it “has not been immune to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic” so the timetable for the project was “slightly impacted” during 2020.
Shares rose 1% to 46.1p on Wednesday morning.