PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Mineral Resources (MinRes) has posted a solid quarter, with iron-ore shipments increasing, along with production from the Mt Marion lithium project.
MinRes on Friday reported that iron-ore shipments totalled 4.7-million tonnes during the quarter, up 22% on the previous corresponding period, driven by growth at the Utah Point Hub. Iron-ore production for the three months to March reached 4.8-million tonnes, up from the 4.3-million tonnes produced in the previous corresponding period, but down from the 5.5-million tonnes produced in the December quarter, as lower volumes of ore were produced at the Yilgarn hub, following drawdowns of inventory built in the previous quarter.
The iron-ore business remains on track to meet its full-year guidance for export shipments of between 18.5-million and 19.5-million tonnes and costs of between A$96/t and A$104/t for the Yilgarn Hub and A$80/t to A$88/t for the Utah Point Hub.
Meanwhile, MinRes reported total spodumene production of 104 000 t for the March quarter, with shipments of 116 000 t. Production in the March quarter was up from the 98 000 t produced in the December quarter, however, declined from the 136 000 t shipped in the same period.
The Mt Marion lithium project produced 104 000 t and shipped 94 000 t of spodumene concentrate during the quarter, and the project remains on target to meet 2022 guidance of 450 000 t to 475 000 t.
MinRes took possession of its 51% share of the Mt Marion spodumene concentrate offtake in February 2022, which will be converted into lithium hydroxide in China under a tolling agreement.
Meanwhile, the Wodgina operation shipped 22 000 t of spodumene concentrate from existing stockpiles during the quarter at an achieved price of $2 200/t.
First new spodumene concentrate from Wodgina Train 1 is expected in May 2022. The MARBL joint venture, with partner Albamarle, has agreed to accelerate the resumption of production from Train 2, with first spodumene concentrate expected in July 2022.
Each train will have a nameplate capacity of 250 000 t of 6% product.
Additionally, third-party spodumene concentrate feed was introduced into the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant, which MinRes owns with Albemarle. First product from Train 1 is expected by May 2022. Train 2 is targeted for mechanical completion in the second quarter of 2023, with product expected in that quarter.