Liontown begins site construction works for Lithium Project
Liontown Resources, the Australian battery minerals producer, has announced that it has achieved a key milestone in the development of its Kathleen Valley Lithium Project in Western Australia, with the approval of the Mining Proposal and Mine Closure Plan for the project from the WA Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).
New long-life lithium projects being constructed
Liontown said that the Mining Proposal approval, together with the associated but separate Works Approval by the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, and other key permits which have already been received, represent the final primary approvals required for the commencement of major site works at the Kathleen Valley Project.
Located 680km north-east of Perth, and 60km north of Leinster, the project is one of the most significant new long-life lithium projects being constructed anywhere in the world. Major site activities are now scheduled to commence in line with Liontown’s development schedule, with construction expected to ramp up quickly over the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.
Completion and commissioning is targeted by the end of Q2 2024, the company added.
Liontown’s Managing Director and CEO Tony Ottaviano commented: "The receipt of approval for our Mining Proposal along with the Works Approval represents another major milestone for the Kathleen Valley Project. With all key enabling permits now in place, our development team can move ahead at full pace to begin major site construction activities.
“This is a very exciting time for everyone involved with the company, and shareholders can look forward to steadily increasing news-flow in the weeks and months ahead as we move into the full-scale commercial development phase.”
The initial 2.5Mtpa project will deliver 500ktpa of SC6.0 spodumene concentrate to global markets, with a planned expansion to 4Mtpa/700ktpa of spodumene concentrate within six years.
This will position Liontown to become a leading global lithium producer, delivering spodumene concentrate which is a critical input to the rapidly growing lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle industry worldwide.
The Kathleen Valley project is underpinned by a group of Tier-1 offtake customers including LG Energy Solution, Tesla and Ford.
Mining sector activities
Significant progress has been made with early construction works and pre-development activities at the project, with milestones including:
- Preparation for clearing of the process plant site and mobilisation of batch plant commencing immediately following receipt of Mining Proposal and Works Approval
- 68 rooms for the Accommodation Village have already been delivered to site, with more than 70%+ of the buried services for the 500-person camp already in place
- Two-thirds of construction tenders for Kathleen Valley have been issued for quotation and are being progressively awarded, with contracts for all key long-lead items already executed and in manufacture or ready for shipment. Key recent awards include all switch rooms and concrete supply, with structural steel and platework for the processing plant imminent
- A Letter of Award was issued in September to commence construction of the ground-breaking 95MW Hybrid Power Station in partnership with Zenith Energy
- Appointment of key project personnel and strong interest in imminent mining roles is highly encouraging in the tough WA mining sector
- Recommencement of site and regional water exploration with the first of two water bore drilling rigs on site
- Completion of grade control drilling program for future open pit mining activities
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the WA Government, in particular the teams at DMIRS and DWERS, for working cooperatively with us to progress the process to enable construction of this world-class project on schedule. The ongoing engagement and support of the Tjiwarl has been pivotal through these processes. We look forward to delivering a world-class project to world-class standards and creating significant value for all our key stakeholders,” Ottaviano concluded.