PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved the development of a lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant, outside of Bunbury.
The plant, to be developed by global producer Albemarle, will produce up to 100 000 t/y of lithium hydroxide monohydrate from five 20 000 t/y process trains and produce up to 1.1-million tonnes a year of tailings.
The construction of these trains will be staged over the next ten years with construction of the first trains planned to commence in 2018. The plant will process spodumene ore concentrate supplied from the Talison mine in Greenbushes, the biggest source of spodumene ore concentrate in the southern hemisphere.
EPA chair Dr Tom Hatton said on Friday that the proposal was environmentally acceptable and could proceed, subject to certain conditions.
“Following a comprehensive environmental assessment process, we concluded this manufacturing plant proposal could proceed, subject to a flora and vegetation monitoring and management plan to minimise the potential impact on threatened flora and fauna, most notably Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Baudin’s Black Cockatoo,” Hatton said.
“Albemarle will also be required to develop a water management plan, to ensure the quality and quantity of offsite surface and groundwater is maintained throughout construction and operation of the plant, as well as an offset strategy and greenhouse gas reporting.”
The EPA’s report to the Minister of Environment will be open for a two-week public appeal period, closing on June 29.