Tag Archives: Albemarle

Compass Group wins ~A$71M contract from Albemarle for Kemerton Expansion Project

Albemarle has awarded a major contract to Compass Group Remote Hospitality Services to operate and maintain the Paris Grove workforce accommodation precinct in Australind, near Bunbury in Western Australia.

The A$140 million ($90 million) Paris Grove village is now under construction and will provide accommodation during rosters for up to 800 people working on the A$2 billion expansion of Albemarle’s nearby Kemerton Lithium Hydroxide Processing Plant.

The contract to operate and maintain Paris Grove is valued at just under A$71 million and spans three years with extension provisions. Compass Group’s ESS Support Services Worldwide arm will be responsible for the contract and is highly experienced in operating modern workforce accommodation in a variety of settings in Western Australia and across Australia.

Around 70 people will be employed by the company on a rolling roster with the company seeking to employ as many local people as possible.

Albemarle’s Paris Grove Operations Manager, Grant Barrow, said the village was being developed as a sustainable, long term accommodation precinct specifically to support Kemerton plant expansion.

“Paris Grove will be a modern, high-quality and purpose-built village accommodating around 800 rostered workers and taking pressure off existing rentals and short term accommodation in the South West,” he said.

“Albemarle is setting out to positively change the approach to village management and operations and Compass Group will help us implement a healthy and safe culture for our workers – in line with recommendations of the recent WA Government resource sector inquiry.”

The village design is landscape-led and is being built by Grounded Construction Group. Compass Group’s ESS will roll out and maintain all onsite catering, accommodation, cleaning, security, health and lifestyle programs, grounds services and facilities management.

“A local leading interior designer has also been working on the village dining area to be a harmonious backdrop to what will be diverse and rotating high quality menu, prepared in a state-of-the-art commercial grade kitchen,” Barrow said.

“Recreation facilities and personalised and group health and wellbeing programs, including fitness activities will be very important and Albemarle is working closely with Compass Group on a range of measures to support psychosocial health at Paris Grove.”

The Compass Group contract award follows the recent Albemarle announcement of two other major Kemerton expansion contracts including a A$330 million contract to UGL, part of the CIMIC Group, and a A$200 million-plus contract to Monadelphous.

Albemarle’s Kemerton Expansion Project will see construction of processing trains three and four with plant capacity set to double at full capacity to up to 100,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide.

Albemarle’s VP, Capital Projects Australia, Josh Rowan said the contracts were among the largest ever awarded by Albemarle and that the Compass Group/ESS Contract was the first workforce accommodation contract ever awarded by the company in Australia.

“We are Australia’s largest producer and manufacturer of lithium and our Kemerton plant is about to get a whole lot bigger,” Rowan said. “Construction of trains 3 and 4 is set to create over 1000 new jobs across all of our major contractors and Albemarle has recently launched an intensive three-month recruitment drive in support of our major Kemerton contractors.

“We are particularly pleased that Compass Group is seeking to employ as many local people as possible to run and manage Paris Grove with the variety and flexibility of roles set to be very attractive to local job seekers.”

Monadelphous rewarded with A$200M contract at Albemarle’s Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant

Engineering company Monadelphous Group has secured a major construction contract with Albemarle valued at approximately A$200 million ($135 million) associated with the expansion of the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant in the south west region of Western Australia.

The contract includes front-end pyromet structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation works associated with two new lithium processing trains (trains 3 and 4).

The award follows the successful delivery of construction packages on trains 1 and 2, and the recently awarded long-term maintenance and sustaining capital projects contracts at Albemarle’s Kemerton operations.

Work will commence onsite later this year and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025.

Monadelphous Managing Director, Zoran Bebic, said this award, in addition to the award announced last week with Fortescue Metals Group for work at the Christmas Creek mine site, represent the first in a new wave of major construction projects to come to market.

The company’s work at Christmas Creek involves the supply and construction of an overland conveyor and transfer station, with the scope including civil, structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation works.

“We are extremely pleased to have secured these key construction opportunities, and look forward to continuing to deliver high quality solutions for customers, as well as supporting local communities through the provision of employment and supply opportunities,” he said.

Albemarle says expansion of Kemerton represents the biggest investment by any company in downstream processing of lithium in Australia.

The Kemerton plant initially consisted of three production trains, each producing 20,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide, with a potential expansion to five trains that will see production increase to 100,000 t/y by around 2025. The plant will be supplied with lithium concentrate produced at the nearby Greenbushes mine.

Metso extends calcining and acid roasting input at Kemerton lithium hydroxide processing plant

Metso says it has been awarded a contract to deliver ancillary equipment for Albemarle Lithium Pty Ltd’s calcining and acid roasting facilities at the Kemerton lithium hydroxide processing plant in Western Australia.

This agreeement is an addendum to the two pyro processing and comminution lines that were awarded to Metso and announced in December 2022. The value of the contract is approximately €40 million ($43.5 million).

Metso’s scope of delivery includes selected material handling and gas cleaning equipment for the calciner, calcine grinding and acid vapour sections.

Chris Urban, Vice President, Heat Transfer at Metso, said: “We are pleased that Albemarle, which is one of the largest lithium producers in the world, has selected us as the partner for their lithium hydroxide processing plants. In addition to the pyro processing and comminution lines ordered, it was also our honour to deliver two pyro lines, which were recently commissioned.”

The Kemerton plant initially consisted of three production trains, each producing 20,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide, with a potential expansion to five trains that will see production increase to 100,000 t/y by around 2025. The plant will be supplied with lithium concentrate produced at the nearby Greenbushes mine.

DB Schenker joins engineering team for Albemarle’s Kemerton lithium expansion project

DB Schenker says it has been awarded the contract to provide comprehensive project construction freight forwarding and logistics services to Albemarle’s Kemerton lithium expansion project (KEP) in Western Australia, supporting engineering contractor will be Hatch Australia.

The KEP is DB Schenker’s first foray into the rapidly growing battery metals mining industry, with the plant approximately 150 km south of Perth, Western Australia, near the the Port of Bunbury and close to one of the world’s largest hard-rock lithium deposits, the Greenbushes mine.

The work will be supported by the DB Schenker Project Control Tower office, in Perth, in conjunction with the company’s global network of project offices specialised and accustomed to the unique logistics service requirements of the industry, it says.

“We have a proven track record of working safely and efficiently, even on the most remote sites and mega projects in the world,” Frank Vogel, VP Global Projects & Industry Solutions APAC, said.

The Kemerton plant initially consisted of three production trains, each producing 20,000 t/y of lithium hydroxide, with a potential expansion to five trains that will see production increase to 100,000 t/y by around 2025. The plant will be supplied with lithium concentrate produced at the nearby Greenbushes mine.

Mines and Money London looks at Resourcing Tomorrow

Beacon Events has rebranded the Mines and Money London event and come up with three comprehensive tracks that, it says, covers a spectrum of critical topics around the energy transition, ESG, sustainability, circular economy, technology, services and junior mining investment.

New for 2022, Resourcing Tomorrow, brought to you by Mines and Money, is a global forum for the coming together of decision makers, mining leaders, policymakers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators for three days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking, the event organisers say.

With an anticipated audience of 2,000 attendees, Resourcing Tomorrow runs from November 29 to December 1, 2022, at the Business Design Exhibition Centre in London.

The three tracks – Resourcing Tomorrow, Reimagining Mining and Mines and Money – will cover 120-plus talks, panel discussions and keynote presentations from 150-plus industry experts. This includes:

  • Jakob Stausholm, Chief Executive, Rio Tinto;
  • Mark Bristow, President & Chief Executive Officer, Barrick;
  • Roy Harvey, Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa;
  • Mikael Staffas, President & Chief Executive Officer, Boliden;
  • Stuart Tonkin, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Star Resources;
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Mining and Minerals, ICMM
  • Katy Hebditch, Head of Engagement – Technical and Sustainability, Anglo American;
  • Ellen Lenny-Pessagno, Global Vice President for Government and Community Affairs, Albemarle; and
  • Elaine Dorward-King, Non-executive Director for Sibanye Stillwater, Kenmare Resources and NovaGold.

On the third day, the Mines and Money Outstanding Achievement Awards will take place at the Bloomsbury Big Top to celebrate the very best of the industry through awards from exploration to deal making, from innovation in technology to CEOs who have made a difference, these awards recognise and reward excellence.

International Mining is a media sponsor of the Resourcing Tomorrow event

Tianqi and IGO herald battery-grade lithium milestone at Kwinana refinery

Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia Pty Ltd (TLEA) has announced first production of battery-grade lithium from its plant in Kwinana, Western Australia, marking the first time battery-grade lithium, or lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM), has been produced in Australia in commercial quantities.

This is a significant milestone for TLEA and Australian mining as the sector expands to meet rapidly growing demand for rechargeable batteries, primarily from the electric vehicle and energy storage system industries, TLEA, a joint venture between IGO (49%) and Tianqi Lithium (51%), says.

TLEA’s Kwinana plant has successfully met internal certification processes with the on-site laboratory confirming that battery-grade specification has been met on 10 t of lithium hydroxide, produced consistently over several days. Samples have been sent for independent verification, TLEA says.

The next step in the plant’s ramp-up process is customer qualification, which will be completed over the next four to eight months. During this time, the plant will continue to focus on stable, consistent and reliable production of battery-grade lithium.

“We are immensely proud to demonstrate that Australia can value add to its minerals onshore as it enhances its reputation as a critical contributor to the production of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage, which are absolutely vital for the decarbonisation of the world’s economy,” TLK Chief Operating Officer, Raj Surendran, said.

“This is an exciting time for our shareholders, suppliers and service providers who have contributed to the construction and ramp-up of the Kwinana Plant, and our employees who have worked so hard to turn the dream of producing battery-grade lithium hydroxide in Australia into a reality.

“Today’s milestone proves Australia has the capability and expertise to transition from a ‘dig it and ship it’ minerals supplier to a downstream supplier of value-added product.

“However, we also remain acutely aware that there is more work to do to establish the Kwinana plant as a reliable, significant producer of battery-grade lithium, starting with customer acceptance.”

TLEA owns the first lithium hydroxide plant in Australia and the largest in the world to be built and operated outside of China. Lithium hydroxide produced at the plant will be containerised and exported from the Port of Fremantle to customers around the globe.

Surendran said the first train at TLEA’s Kwinana Plant will now continue its ramp-up towards its nameplate capacity of 24,000 t/y of battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Lithium hydroxide is a lithium-based compound derived from spodumene, a lithium-bearing pegmatite mineral. Spodumene is sourced directly from the Greenbushes mine 250 km southwest of Kwinana (Albemarle 50%, Tianqi Corporation 25%, IGO Ltd 25%).

Albemarle to double capacity at Silver Peak lithium brine operation

Albemarle Corp has confirmed it will expand capacity at its lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada, USA, and begin a program to evaluate clays and other available Nevada resources for commercial production of lithium.

Beginning in 2021, the company plans to invest $30-$50 million to double the current production at the Nevada site by 2025, making full use of its brine water rights. Additionally, the company plans to commence exploration of clay and evaluate technology that could accelerate the viability of lithium production from clay resources in the region this year.

The company explained: “As global demand for electric vehicles grows, North America automotive manufacturers are seeking to regionalise their supply chain for greater security and sustainability. Albemarle’s investment in Silver Peak, which produces lithium from brine extracted from the Clayton Valley basin, will support this increased demand for domestic supply of lithium.”

Eric Norris, Albemarle President, Lithium, said: “As a leader in the lithium industry, our priority is to optimise our world-class resources and production. This includes Silver Peak, a site uniquely positioned as the only lithium-producing resource in the United States.

“This investment in domestic capacity shows that we are committed to looking at the many ways in which Silver Peak can provide domestic support for the growing electric vehicle market.”

In addition to examining clay resources, Albemarle is seeking ways to optimise lithium extraction from its brine resources, including those in the Clayton Valley. Through a US Department of Energy-sponsored research project with Argonne National Laboratory, the company is investigating a process to streamline production of lithium hydroxide, which is principally used in electric vehicle batteries, from brine resources.

Albemarle’s domestic resources also include the historic 324 ha Kings Mountain, North Carolina, lithium site, which, it says, is one of the richest spodumene ore deposits in the world and home to the company’s global lithium technical centre and piloting operations, as well as lithium-containing brines in Arkansas.

JordProxa crystallises battery chemical market potential with Albermarle, Terrafame orders

Australia-based JordProxa Pty Ltd has recently delivered crystallisation plants for two major battery metal producers, solidifying, it says, its position in the growing new energy market.

JordProxa designed, fabricated and dispatched several large-scale orders to site, including an evaporator and two crystallisation plants to lithium producer Albemarle, in Western Australia, and nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and ammonium sulphate crystallisation plants to Terrafame, in Finland. The modular plants are now being installed in Western Australia and installation is underway on site in Finland with the last modules in transit (pictured above), JordProxa said.

The most recent crystallisation plant deliveries follow, in 2019, the arrival of a JordProxa nickel sulphate crystallisation plant at BHP’s Nickel West operations in Western Australia.

JordProxa Managing Director, John Warner, says the rapid uptake of battery-electric vehicles has led to a surge in demand for battery chemicals and associated technologies.

“Battery chemical producers need a technology provider that can meet and exceed the demands of product purity, with a focus on continued process improvement, to keep up with changing product specifications,” Warner said.

“JordProxa understands the process fundamentals that influence product quality through evaporation and crystallisation. We combine the project delivery skills and global footprint of Jord and Proxa and are perfectly positioned to deliver state of the art plant solutions for ultra-pure battery chemicals at large tonnage scales.”

He added: “We leverage an established network of fabrication alliances and modular design capabilities. This allows us to deliver key assemblies that are tested in the workshop before they are dispatched and installed on site. Our aim is to optimise project delivery time while minimising project risk.”

Jord International CEO, Angus Holden, said he was pleased the group is demonstrating its technical and operational expertise in the new energy market.

“Our track record over 50 years of business demonstrates that we can successfully design and build reliable plants with tangible process benefits,” he said.

“This important crystalliser work from JordProxa delivers on our goal of supporting clean energy technologies and is generating a new long-term, sustainable revenue stream. It has helped our group achieve a record revenue for the 2020 financial year, aided by other new areas of business, including enhanced minerals beneficiation and topside modules for offshore gas fields.”

Albemarle chooses ARMS Reliability’s OnePM to help manage Kemerton build

Albemarle has selected ARMS Reliability’s asset strategy management tool, OnePM, to rapidly develop and deploy new maintenance strategies for its joint venture lithium hydroxide plant in Kemerton, Western Australia.

Albemarle holds a 60% interest in the joint venture, with Mineral Resources Limited owning the remaining 40% stake following an agreement signed last year.

This marks ARMS Reliability’s first engagement by Albemarle, the company said.

“OnePM is a technical solution that allows companies to easily consolidate, structure, and augment master data to build optimal asset maintenance strategies, connect and quickly deploy those strategies to their enterprise asset management system, and monitor the strategies in a dynamic environment to ensure optimal asset performance is sustained over time,” ARMS Reliability said.

Jason Apps, ARMS Reliability’s CEO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Albemarle to the growing community of OnePM users and look forward to supporting them through the asset strategy management process.”

Construction on the Kemerton 50,000 t/y lithium hydroxide conversion facility kicked off last year and will be commissioned in stages starting in 2021.

Monadelphous engineering and maintenance divisions hit by COVID-19

Engineering company Monadelphous Group says both its Engineering Construction and Maintenance divisions have been hit by measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In reaction to this, it said its Chairman, Managing Director and Non-Executive Directors had agreed to a 30% reduction in salary and fees for the next six months, while the Executive and General Management teams would take 10-20% salary cuts over the same period.

In a market update issued last week, Monadelphous said COVID-19 operational impact measures taken by governments and industry across the world to prevent further spread of the virus had impacted the economy, resulting in the delay, suspension, deferral or reduction of services across a range of the company’s projects and worksites, as well as materially disrupting productivity levels.

“Monadelphous continues to take all necessary measures required to proactively manage the business through this unprecedented period to ensure the safety of its employees and sustain business continuity,” it said.

In the Engineering Construction division, which recently secured major contracts on BHP’s South Flank, Rio Tinto’s West Angelas (pictured) and Albemarle Lithium’s Kemerton projects, Monadelphous said it had experienced supply chain issues causing delays on large resources construction projects currently in progress. It had also witnessed several temporary deferrals to potential new construction contract award dates.

In its maintenance division, the company has experienced a material reduction in activity levels, particularly in fly-in-fly-out operations with customers reducing non-essential work, delaying discretionary maintenance spend and deferring shutdowns, it said.

On top of this, and following several water projects approaching completion recently experiencing an escalation in contract disputes and “disappointing levels” of profitability, Monadelphous said it planned to discontinue its Water Infrastructure business operations in New Zealand, plus consolidate its east coast engineering construction operations into a single Eastern Australian business unit. This followed a strategic and operational review of the business in Australia and New Zealand.

Rob Velletri, Monadelphous Managing Director, said: “We will continue to work closely with our customers during these challenging and uncertain times. Our disciplined and prudent management, loyal workforce and strong balance sheet mean that we are well positioned to deal with the challenges ahead, and the opportunities that will arise in time. I am confident that the actions we have taken to refocus the Water Infrastructure business will deliver more profitable and sustainable pipeline of opportunities over the longer term.”