Sonora Lithium Project

Operator : Ganfeng Lithium

Ownership (30/01/22) : 30% Joint Venture


Sonora State, northern Mexico

Development Stage:

Project Financing for Construction

Project Summary

  • JV Partner Ganfeng Lithium 3rd largest lithium compound producer in the world
  • 8.8 Mt of LCE resources at Sonora (4.9 Mt LCE on JV areas)
  • Planned annual production Lithium Carbonate ~ 35,400 tpa
  • Mine Life – 20 years
  • Ore mined from our JV areas – ~ 72 Kt LCE year 8-19

Strong economic potential of two stage open-pit operation at Sonora

Net Present Value US$ 802 million
Annual production 35,000 tpa battery grade Li2CO3
Construction capital costs US$ 800 million (Stage 1 & 2)
Operating cost (with credits) US$ 3,418/t Li2CO3
Lithium Carbonate pricing assumption US$ 11,000/t Li2CO3

Sonora: a large lithium deposit

  • Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of over 5 million tonnes (‘Mt’)  (‘LCE’)4 and an additional Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.7 Mt of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent
  • Low stripping ratio: open-pit mine design indicates a total of 37.1 Mt of ore to be mined over the planned 19-year mine life with an average stripping ratio of approximately 3.4:1 over LOM

The Sonora Lithium Project and Details of Cadence Ownership

The Sonora Lithium Project is comprised of the following lithium properties:

  • La Ventana and La Ventana 1 concessions, which are 100 per cent. owned by Minera Sonora Borax S.A. de C.V.(“MSB”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium; Cadence Minerals, Cadence has no interest in these concessions.
  • El Sauz, El Sauz 1, El Sauz 2, Fleur and Fleur 1 concessions, which are held by Mexilit S.A. de C.V. (“Mexilit”). Cadence has a 30% direct interest in Mexalit through its Joint Venture with Gangfeng Lithium

Projects Outside the Sonora Lithium Project

Cadence also owns a 30% direct interest in The Megalit, Buenavista, and San Gabriel concessions, which are held by Megalit S.A de C.V (“Megalit”).

These areas are not part of the mining plans of the Sonora Lithium Project and have not been assessed in sufficient detail to provide a 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate.

In 2021 the Mexican senate elevated lithium deposits to the category of “strategic minerals”, declaring the exploration, exploitation, and use of lithium to be the exclusive right of the state. It is our current view that the Decree passed by the senate only impacts licenses, concessions or contracts to be granted not already those already granted as is the case for the Sonora Lithium Project. Therefore, at this point we do not believe there is a material impact to our joint venture areas.

Mineral Resource and Reserves

The Sonora Project holds one of the world’s larger lithium resources and benefits from being both high grade and scalable. The polylithionite mineralisation is hosted within shallow dipping sequences, outcropping on the surface.  A Mineral Resource estimate was prepared by SRK Consulting (UK) Limited (‘SRK’) in accordance with NI 43-101. The following tables present the summary of current lithium resources for the Project; these Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves:

The Mineral Reserves contained within Cadence’s joint venture with Bacanora is scheduled to mined (under the feasibility published in 2018) in years 9 to 19. Further details of the planned mining schedule can be found on pages 137-139 of the Feasibility Study

MINERAL RESERVES (Cut-off grade if 1,500 ppm Li)

Category Tonnes Ore (000t) Li (ppm) K (%) LCE (000t) LCE attributable to Cadence (000t)
Proven 80,146 3,905 1.64 1,666 116
Probable 163,662 3,271 1.36 2,849 723
Total 243,808 3,480 1.45 4,515 839


Category Cut–off
(Li ppm)
Tonnes (000t) Li (ppm) K (%) LCE (000t) LCE attributable to Cadence (000t)
Measured 1,000 103,000 3,480 1.5 1,910 134
Indicated 1,000 188,000 3,120 1.3 3,130 785
Total 1,000 291,000 3,250 1.4 5,038 919


Category Cut–off
(Li ppm)
Tonnes (000t) Li (ppm) K (%) LCE (000t) LCE attributable to Cadence (000t)
Inferred 1,000 268,000 2,650 1.2 3,779 559