MinRes lithium expansion project delayed

25th January 2023 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online

Australian mining company Mineral Resources (MinRes) has pushed back the timing of the Mt Marion expansion project, in Western Australia, citing a delay in the supply of processing equipment and labour shortages.

The upgrade of production capacity to 900 000 t/y is now expected to start during April and ramp up to the full run-rate from July.

As a result, MinRes has reduced Mt Marion’s shipped guidance to between 350 000 and 280 000 dry metric tonnes (dmt), from between 330 000 and 330 000 dmt previously.

The capital cost of the project remains at $120-million, the company says.

Meanwhile, MinRes shipped 59 000 dmt (51% share) of spodumene concentrate, up 5% quarter-on-quarter from Mt Marion. On a 100% basis, the operation produced 12% more spodumene concentrate at 121 000 dmt in the three months.

From Wodgina, also in Western Australia, MinRes shipped 38 000 dmt (40% share) of spodumene concentrate, up 45% quarter-on-quarter. Production increased by 78% to 973 000 dmt (on a 100% basis).

Wodgina will achieve its 2023 shipped guidance of 190 000 to 210 000 dmt (MinRes 50% share).

Further, MinRes reported a 9% decrease in iron-ore shipments to 4.1-million wet metric tonnes, which was in line with the mine plan and 2023 guidance.