Tawana Resources and Alliance Mineral Assets Ltd (AMAL) advise that the construction and development at the Bald Hill lithium and tantalum mine, in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia, is on track with lithium concentrate production to commence this quarter. Bald Hill is a joint project between Tawana and AMAL (50:50).
- DMS plant (shown in the picture) construction activities have advanced significantly since the last update in November 2017
- Steelwork installation nearing completion
- Piping and electrical cabling advancing
- Power station installed and partly commissioned
- ROM pad and crusher pad near completion
- Mining ramping up with daily movements reaching 16,000 m3/d
- Personnel levels on site peaking at over 200
- On schedule to commence production this quarter
- Work on reserve upgrade underway and results also expected this quarter
- Tantalum offtake negotiations are progressing.
Tawana’s Managing Director Mark Calderwood said “The transformation on site since our last update on 28 November has been amazing, with construction pushing through the Christmas period. We are now entering the home straight with commissioning expected to commence within two months.”
The Bald Hill project comprises four mining leases, one mining lease application, 12 exploration licences, eight prospecting licences and one general purpose lease totalling 774 km2.
Each of Tawana and AMAL executed an offtake agreement in April 2017 (and subsequent variations thereto) for the supply of lithium concentrate from Bald Hill over a five-year term with pricing for 2018 and 2019 of $880/t (FOB Esperance) for 6% Li20. The prepayments from the aforesaid offtake agreement are being used towards the capital costs of the project.
The project is located 50 km southeast of Kambalda in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, and approximately 75 km southeast of the Mt Marion lithium project. A current Indicated and Inferred lithium Mineral Resource of 18.9 Mt at 1.18% Li20, and 149ppm Ta205 at a 0.5% Li20 cutoff was calculated by CSA Global Pty Ltd.
The project remains significantly underexplored and significant drilling is planned for 2018.
The PFS released in July 2017 confirmed the technical and financial viability of a 1.2 Mt/y lithium DMS separation circuit adjacent to the existing tantalum processing facility. Beneficiation processes undertaken as part of AMAL’s refurbishment, upgrade and recommissioning of the plant in 2015-16 produced non-magnetic -1 mm concentrates containing high levels of lithium in the form of spodumene. The +500µm lithium concentrate totalling 5.9 t averaged 6.73% Li2O and the 250-500µm lithium concentrate totalling 3.5 t averaged 5.75% Li2O.