PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Lithium miner Galaxy Resources has reported record production from its Mt Cattlin operation, in Western Australia, during the three months to June.
Lithium concentrate production during the three months to June reached 63 321 t, up from the 46 588 t produced in the March quarter, bringing half-year production to 109 909 t.
The ASX-listed Galaxy said on Thursday that it shipped 48 499 t of spodumene concentrate during the quarter, up from the 29 917 t shipped in the March quarter, with an additional two shipments of 31 500 t completed in July this year, meaning that contracted shipments for some 60 000 t in the third quarter were well advanced.
The company told shareholders that owing to the strong production performance at the Mt Cattlin operation in the first half of 2021, Galaxy has produced sufficient uncontracted volumes to enable a spot shipment to be sold in addition to the contracted volumes. In mid-July, the company ran an auction process with selected buyers for 15 000 t of spodumene concentrate to be shipped late in the third quarter. Galaxy expects to conclude the contract with the preferred buyer in July.
Meanwhile, work at the Sal de Vida project, in Argentina, continued during the quarter, with the project tracking on schedule and on budget.
The project is designed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate through an evaporation and processing operation at the Salar del Hombre Muerto site, initially targeting a production of 10 700 t/y, with expansion to 32 000 t/y production capacity through later stages possible.
Work is also continuing at the James Bay project, in Quebec, which is being developed into a 330 000 t/y spodumene operation. A downstream study has also started to examine options to convert the spodumene concentrate at James Bay into value-added lithium chemicals.
Galaxy in April this year announced a merger with fellow listed lithium miner Orocobre, under which Galaxy shareholders would receive 0.569 Orocobre shares for each of their shares held, with Orocobre shareholders to own 54.2% of the fully diluted share capital of the combined entity, while Galaxy shareholders would own the remaining 45.8%.
The merger is expected to create a top five global lithium chemicals company with assets across a diversified geography, lithium sources and end products, and would combine two complementary, large scale tier-one assets in the form of Orocobre’s Olaroz mine, in Argentina, and Galaxy’s Mt Cattlin mine.
The merger is expected to become effective on August 16.