Bald Hill produces first Li concentrate
Perth, 14 March (Argus) — Perth-based lithium developer Tawana Resources and Singapore-based partner Alliance Mineral Assets have started production of lithium concentrate at their Bald Hill lithium-tantalum mine in Western Australia.
The mine is the first Australian lithium project to come into production since 2016. It will be followed in a few months by Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora project and Altura Mining's Altura project, both in Western Australia.
Bald Hill ‘s dense media separation plant is commissioned and will ramp up to steady state output over the next few months, the company said. It will in addition process lithium fines. A tantalum circuit is expected to be re-commissioned.
Bald Hill has gone from declaring a maiden lithium mineral resource to production in nine months.
Tawana and Alliance Mineral Assets have a five-year lithium concentrate offtake agreement with Chinese and German partners and a separate offtake agreement with another buyer for tantalum output. The first two years of the lithium offtake agreement – 2018 and 2019 – involve 6pc lithium oxide concentrate at a price of $880/t.
Bald Hill mine is initially expected to produce 155,000 t/yr of lithium concentrate and 260,000 lbs/yr of tantalum pentoxide.
The mine's resource is 18.9mn t, grading 1.18pc lithium oxide and 149 parts per million tantalum oxide.