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Kathleen Valley lithium/tantalum project, Australia – update

Location map of the Kathleen Valley lithium/tantalum project

Photo by Liontown Resources

8th July 2022

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project                                    
Kathleen Valley lithium/tantalum project.

Location
North-east Goldfields of Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Liontown Resources.

Project Description
A definitive feasibility study (DFS) has confirmed the potential to develop a state-of-the-art, second-generation lithium/tantalum mining and processing operation.

The DFS optimises the mine schedule, process plant design and forecast sales pricing to enhance the technical and financial viability of a standalone, long-life, four-million-tonne-a-year operation.

The project has an ore reserve of 68.5-million tonnes grading 1.34% lithium oxide and 120 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, underpinning an initial estimated 23-year mine life, based on the updated mining schedule.

Building on the October 2020 prefeasibility study, the DFS base production has been increased from two-million tonnes a year to 2.5-million tonnes a year, producing about 500 000 t/y of spodumene concentrate, with a four-million-tonne-a-year expansion planned in Year 6 to deliver about 700 000 t/y spodumene concentrate.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at a real 8% discount rate, of A$4.2-billion and an internal rate of return of 57%, with a payback of 2.3 years.

Capital Expenditure
Initial project capital is estimated at A$437-million.

Planned Start/End Date
First production is expected to start in the first half of 2024.

Latest Developments
Liontown Resources has signed a lithium supply agreement with Ford Motor Company, the Australian miner's latest deal, after similar deals earlier this year with Tesla and electric vehicle (EV) battery maker LG Energy.

Liontown will supply 150 000 dry metric tonnes of lithium spodumene concentrate a year for five years from its flagship Kathleen Valley project. The concentrate is a source of lithium essential for making EVs.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
ZOOID (environmental social governance); Optiro (geology and mineral resources estimate); Snowden Mining Industry Consultants (mine optimisation, planning, design and scheduling); ALS Metallurgy (process testwork); Lycopodium Minerals (process and infrastructure design, capital and operating expenditure); Knight Piésold (tailings and hydrogeology); MBS Environmental (environmental studies); Peter O’Bryan and Associates (geomechanical engineering); and Metso-Ouotec (design, fabrication and delivery of a semiautogenous grinding mill).

Contact Details for Project Information
Liontown Resources, tel +6 8 6186 4600 or email info@ltresources.com.au.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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