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Record prices and $2.3b of quarterly revenue for Greenbushes


The Greenbushes lithium operation in Western Australia has posted a record quarterly performance, reaching a new level for spodumene concentrate production and realised spodumene prices.

Announcing its quarterly results, IGO reported a 5 per cent increase in Greenbushes production from the previous record of 361,000 tonnes of spodumene in the September quarter to 379,000 tonnes in the December quarter.

Production benefited from a new quarterly processing record, where overall throughput increased 7 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 1.6 million tonnes of total ore processed.

Greenbushes’ sales revenue for the December quarter was $2.3 billion, 26 per cent higher than the September quarter, which was benefited by a 14 per cent increase in overall spodumene sales.

The operation’s average realised price for spodumene was $US3984 per tonne. In the September quarter, Greenbushes spodumene was sold at $US3729 per tonne.

IGO said from 1 January 2023, the sales price for SC6 (spodumene concentrate at 6 per cent lithia) has reset quarterly and will reference the average price of four price reporting agencies (PRA) – Fastmarkets, Asian Metals, Benchmark Minerals Intelligence and S&P Platts – over the preceding quarter, less a 5 per cent bulk sales discount.

On this basis, IGO expects the PRA price for spodumene concentrate sold during the March 2023 quarter to be $US5957 per tonne.

Greenbushes is undertaking several expansion projects which IGO expects will increase the operation’s production profile from approximately 1.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to approximately 2.5Mtpa over the next four years.

IGO delivered record earnings and net profit after tax (NPAT) for the December quarter, which underpinned a record interim dividend of $0.14 per share.

The company’s interest in Greenbushes is held via its 49 per cent stake in Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia (TLEA), which owns a 51 per cent interest in the mine (Albemarle Corporation owns the remaining 49 per cent).

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