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  • Mali Lithium has signed a deal with Chinese civil contractor CHICO to further work at its flagship Goulamina Lithium Project
  • CHICO will work as an early contractor, financing operation cost estimates as Mali applies for an exploration lease
  • The partnership will move the project into its mining stage by 2020, where it’s expected to produce 5.7 million tonnes of lithium by 2035
  • Mali’s share price is up 3.8 per cent with shares trading for 8.2 cents apiece

Mali Lithium has signed a deal with Chinese civil contractor CHICO to further work at its flagship Goulamina Lithium Project.

The tentative agreement with CHICO will involve the company as an early contractor, where they are expected to front the project’s estimated operational costs and assist Mali Lithium in completing their existing definitive feasibility study (DFS).

While Mali Lithium wraps up their DFS, the company is also pursuing an exploitation lease with the Malian Government.

With the results of this application expected in March next year, approval will allow the company to begin mining at the Goulamina prospect. From there, production is planned to begin as early as 2020.

Situated in Mali, West Africa, the project is the world’s largest uncommitted lithium resource. Current predictions have the mine posied to produce over 5.7 million tonnes of lithium concentrate across the next 16 years.

Mali Lithium managing director Chris Evans said the MOU was a step ahead for the Goulamina project and could open important doors to future conversations with other Chinese contractors.

“CHICO is an experienced contractor who is currently constructing and operating in a number of West African countries. The mutual benefit that this relationship will bring to each of our organisations will be significant” Chris stated.

“At its own cost, it will provide us with robust Capital and Operating cost estimates for Goulamina ahead of the DFS being published, as well as advice on other early works. We will work with CHICO towards formalising our agreement to a full Early Contractor Involvement Agreement,” he explained.

The new MOU also complements the company’s existing plans for the Goulamina project.

A financial investment decision on the tenement is expected late next year, following the completion of a banking feasibility study conducted within the first quarter.

Currently, CHICO oversees civil and engineering operations across 14 countries in Africa, including a prominent bauxite mine in Guinea.

Additionally, the company is working as an active exporter in Cote d’Ivoire, opening doors to future lithium exports from the Mali project.

WA-based Mali Lithium oversees a gold and lithium project portfolio, managing the African Massigui and Dankssa Gold prospects in Mali along with the Goulamina project.

The company traded up following news of the MOU this morning, jumping 3.8 per cent to 8.2 cents on the ASX. The company’s market cap is currently sitting at just over $25 million.

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