The resource is believed to be among the top 10 in the world. We are starting a prefeasibility study to collect geological information for the engineering assessment and to evaluate resource development opportunities. The study will also include an evaluation of environmental, biological, and social impacts required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).
The prefeasibility work is expected to take several years. Once complete, if we decide to proceed, key permit applications will be submitted to federal, state, and county agencies. Permit timelines of mining projects varies widely depending on community, site sensitivities, etc. Depending on the permitting timeline, we estimate that initial construction could start in late 2025 with potential production in 2027 (or by end of the decade), again if we decide to proceed with the project. We are exploring a Kings Mountain project to potentially restart extraction from this spodumene resource to strengthen our domestic supply of critical minerals. We are beginning now to determine what will be required to make that possible.
We continue to evaluate the attractiveness of Kings Mountain. No formal investment decision has been made. However, our work to date has not deterred us from further investment in development studies.