PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Independence Group (IGO) on Friday announced the first production of battery grade lithium from its Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery, in Western Australia.
The first production represented an important milestone for the lithium joint venture (JV) between IGO and its partner Tianqi Lithium Corporation, which holds a 51% interest in the JV.
IGO told shareholders that based on onsite laboratory tests, the JV had successfully and consistently produced battery grade lithium hydroxide over several days. Once product samples have been independently verified, the product qualification process with offtake customers would commence.
“We are delighted to announce this important achievement and we congratulate the joint venture team for their focus and professionalism through the progressive commissioning and trial production of Train 1 at Kwinana and the delivery of this important milestone,” IGO MD and CEO Peter Bradford said.
“Vertical integration into downstream processing is a key plank in IGO’s strategy and we are proud to be involved in the first production of lithium hydroxide in commercial quantities in Australia. The JV’s interest in both the upstream mining asset at Greenbushes and the downstream refinery at Kwinana is emerging as a globally significant, integrated lithium business.”
Train 1 of the Kwinana refinery has a 24 000 t/y production capacity, and construction of Train 2, which would add a further 24 000 t/y in capacity, is slated to start in the first half of 2023.
The Kwinana facility will have the capacity to add two additional trains, taking full production capacity to 96 000 t/y.