Liontown Resources progress lithium concentrate production

Battery Materials producer Liontown Resources has executed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with GR Engineering Services (GRES) for the delivery and commissioning of the paste plant to support underground mining operations at the company’s Kathleen Valley lithium mine.

The Paste Plant will include two trains capable of producing up to 160m3 of paste per hour and has been designed to accommodate future expansion of mining operations to 4Mtpa.

Delivery of cemented paste fill is an integral part of the underground mining cycle at Kathleen Valley in north-western Western Australia, maximising recovery of the underground orebody and planned production rates and reducing water consumption.

Supported by $110 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and $120 million from Export Finance Australia (EFA), South Korean-based LG Energy Solution (LGES), and car manufacturers Tesla and Ford, are foundation customers for a planned 500ktpa of spodumene concentrate which will be produced from 2024.

The EPC is a standalone project, with the second train brought forward to provide latent capacity to derisk underground mining operations, enable water recovery and to capture cost economies associated with constructing the two trains together.

Valued at approximately $71 million, the EPC forms part of planned and budgeted next stage of growth capital costs post first production and funding is contemplated under the recently announced A$550m financing facility.

GRES have progressed the design, procurement and initial site works under an early works agreement to ensure timely delivery of the Paste Plant.

Liontown Managing Director and CEO Tony Ottaviano said: “We are pleased to award the contract for the design and construction of the Paste Plant which will support and further de-risk the planned underground production rates at Kathleen Valley.

“GRES has designed and constructed multiple paste plant facilities throughout Western Australia and the GRES team has mobilised and commenced initial works at Kathleen Valley.”

Announcing its financial support at the time the federal government said: “The company aims to create a pathway to downstream processing, which would allow Australia to capture a greater proportion of the lithium value chain.”

Further reading:
$230 million finance to speed lithium battery supply project

Picture: Liontown Resources

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