Tawana has just kick-started Australia’s first new lithium plant since 2016
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Lithium production has today started at Tawana’s West Australian Bald Hill project, marking the first new production in Australia since 2016.
It’s been about five months since Tawana secured $25 million from a lithium industry specialist to start production at the mine in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.
Tawana boss Mark Calderwood said at the time the company was well placed to benefit from long-term demand for lithium needed for electric car batteries.
“Raw materials required for Li-ion and other next generation batteries have become a critical focus for the global automotive sector who wish to secure these materials from high quality, clean, reliable and low-risk supply chains,” he said.
Bald Hill is a 50-50 joint venture between Tawana and Perth-based Alliance Mineral Assets Limited.
In total it has taken just nine months for the lithium and tantalum project to get off the ground.
Shares in the company (ASX:TAW) were up 2 per cent at 44.5c in early Wednesday trade.
The plant will ramp up to full production over several months.
“It is a great effort by everybody involved to take Bald Hill from maiden lithium resource to production in nine months including only seven months of construction from the ground up,” Mr Calderwood said today.
“The focus now is to achieve steady state production … and optimise lithium yields. Concurrently, the JV [joint venure] will work on completion of the Stage 2 lithium fines circuit design and re-commissioning of the tantalum circuits.”
Here are some pictures of the plant released today by Tawana:
Tawana released a research note from Cannacord predicting a production rates of 150 kilotonnes per year by the September quarter.
“First production from Bald Hill marks a significant milestone for the project, with construction completed on time and budget. This achievement represents the first new lithium production in Australia since 2016, at a time of significant lithium market tightness.”
The Bald Hill Project comprises 774 sq km owned 50-50 between Tawana and AMAL.
Last year, the two executed an offtake agreement for the supply of lithium concentrate over a five-year term with pricing of $1120 per tonne of grades of 6 per cent.