Liontown Resources is poised to develop Australia’s next Tier 1 lithium mine at the Kathleen Valley site in Western Australia after a definitive feasibility study (DFS) indicated an initial production base of 2.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).
This builds on the pre-feasibility study (PFS) from October 2020, which suggested a 2Mtpa production base for the mine.
The DFS indicates Kathleen Valley has the capacity to produce approximately 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of spodumene concentrate, with the potential for a 4Mtpa expansion in year six, to deliver approximately 700,000tpa of spodumene concentrate.
Liontown chief executive officer and managing director Tony Ottaviano said the completion of the DFS marked a major step towards the company becoming a substantial global lithium producer and lays very strong foundations for its aspirations to become a world-class battery materials company.
“With Liontown now firmly established on a trajectory to become Australia’s next major lithium producer, this is an exciting time for our shareholders as we move from exploration to full-scale development at Kathleen Valley, finalise offtake and funding discussions, and secure the backing we need to commence project execution,” Ottaviano said.
“This is a major new Australian resource project, in a future-facing commodity, that we believe will deliver exceptional long-term returns for our shareholders, all of our other key stakeholders and the state of Western Australia.”
Kathleen Valley is located on four granted mining licences and one mining licence application, approximately 680 kilometres north-east of Perth and 400 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie in the north-eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
The project is readily accessible by sealed highways which connect with mineral exporting ports at both Geraldton and Esperance.
First production at the project is forecast to begin in the first half of 2024, a year earlier than predicted by the pre-feasibility study.
Ottaviano said the other key highlight of the DFS is the way the company will incorporate its ESG (environment, social and governance) framework into the project development from the outset.
“This includes the sector-leading adoption of renewable power generation to deliver a low-carbon footprint and the early inclusion of the Tjiwarl Native Title holders, and heritage considerations in the design, planning and layout of the project,” he said.