Kidman Resources has announced that its 50:50 venture with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) – Western Australian Lithium(WAL) – has entered into an exclusive option with Western Australian Land Authority (Landcorp) to lease a premier site in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area in Western Australia.
|Refinery site location – oblique view with refinery illustration|
This decision follows a comprehensive, on-the-ground assessment of three potential sites upon which the refinery could be built. The option is for a period of 24 months during which time final lease terms will be agreed.
WAL is advancing the Definitive Feasibility Study for the refinery, which is expected to be released to the market in late 2018. WAL is currently planning to commission the refinery in 2021, with an initial annual nameplate capacity of approximately 44,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide or 37,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate. Kidman maintains the right to participate in up to 50 per cent of the refinery investment and market its portion of refined product.
Kidman’s Managing Director and CEO, Martin Donohue, commented this was a major step in Kidman delivering its strategy of being an ASX-listed integrated manufacturer of battery-grade refined lithium.
“The benefits of the Kwinana site vastly outweigh those of the other sites we considered. Importantly, this announcement follows our recent comments regarding the high level of interest we have experienced from various parties seeking refined lithium offtake”, said Mr Donohue.
“I am particularly pleased that Western Australia Lithium is making this announcement alongside the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan. The Western Australia Government, both at a department and ministerial level, have been highly supportive of the Mt Holland Project from the beginning, and the Premier shares our vision of making Western Australia an investment destination for the downstream processing of lithium.”
Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan believes that a new lithium refinery will bring significant investment to the State and local economy, including construction and operational employment opportunities.
“The State Government will continue to support the development of renewable energy technologies, and the $5.5 million in provisional funds will be made available to the MRIWA if it is successful in the bid to establish a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre in WA”, said Mr McGowan.