PERTH (miningweekly.com) – US-based Albemarle has started earthworks at the Kemerton strategic industrial area, in Western Australia, after receiving all the required federal and state government environmental approvals for the planned Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant.
“The site earthworks at Kemerton today are on track with our projections,” Albemarle president for lithium, Eric Norris, said.
“Achieving this milestone underscores our commitment and confidence in developing lithium hydroxide operations in Western Australia and in our overall strategy to drive significant shareholder value and meet our customers' demands.”
The plant, to be constructed on an 89 ha site, has approval to process spodumene ore concentrate from the Talison Lithium Greenbushes mine, through five process trains. It is expected to produce up to 100 000 t/y of lithium hydroxide.
With earthworks under way, development approval for construction of plant infrastructure will be sought from the Southern joint development assessment panel early in the new year.
The plant is expected to create more than 500 construction jobs and an initial 100 operational jobs, increasing to 500 at full operational capacity.
Commissioning of the Kemerton Plant is expected to begin in 2021.