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Port Hedland lithium exports dip sharply in May

11 Jun 2018 17:05 (+01:00 GMT)
Port Hedland lithium exports dip sharply in May

Johannesburg, 11 June (Argus) — Lithium exports from the Western Australian port of Port Hedland fell sharply in May, but are expected to increase in the next few months as new projects come on stream.

There was only one spodumene export shipment during the month totalling 114,062t, which was delivered to China. This compared with four shipments in April totalling 449,826t. March, February and January were also higher than May with shipments of 444,577t, 234,746t and 326,925t, respectively.

The highest monthly shipment to date is December 2017's record total of 536,334t transported to China by five ships.

New lithium concentrate production is expected to start in June-July from Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora project and Altura Mining's Altura project, with offtake to be shipped early in the third quarter.

Tawana Resources and Alliance Mineral Assets' Bald Hill mine exported its first lithium offtake to China in May, but this was from the port of Esperance on Western Australia's southeastern coast.