JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Joint venture partners Tawana Resources and Alliance Mineral Assets have started commissioning the dense media separation (DMS) circuit at their Bald Hill lithium and tantalum mine, in Western Australia.
First spodumene concentrate is expected as soon as ore is fed to the DMS circuit in early March.
“This is a pivotal time for the project as we make the transition from developer to producer,” Tawana MD Mark Cederwood said in a statement on Thursday.
Dry commissioning has started and is expected to continue until late February, while wet commissioning is scheduled to start on February 21.
The crushing and stockpiling of ore has started and the motor control center and low voltage switch room have also been commissioned.
“Ore feed to the DMS is expected in early March, subject to wet commissioning,” he noted.
Plant construction started in August last year, with mining beginning in December and ramping up to around 20 000 m3/d by mid-February.
An offtake agreement for 6% bald hill lithium oxide was signed in April 2017 with Burwill Holdings. The agreement has a five-year term with pricing of $880/t set for 2018 and 2019.
The first lithium shipment is planned for April this year.