Tag Archives: Tianqi Lithium

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%).

SIMPEC starts FY2020 with more WA contract extensions

SIMPEC has continued to add to its structural, mechanical and piping (SMP), and electrical and instrumentation (E&I) work, in Western Australia, bolting on another A$5 million ($3.49 million) to its current list of contracts.

Having been awarded contracts totalling A$50 million in its 2019 financial year to end-June, the WestStar subsidiary has started its 2020 financial year strongly.

Although the company didn’t mention the specific contracts it had won extensions on, SIMPEC has previously been awarded work involving pyromet piping installation at the lithium hydroxide process plant (LHPP1) at Tianqi Lithium’s Kwinana project (pictured), in addition to installing electrical and communications systems at the Rio Tinto’s West Angelas iron ore mine construction camp.

The latest news come less than two weeks since SIMPEC registered A$2.5 million of extensions to previous contracts.

SIMPEC Managing Director, Mark Dimasi, said: “Having delivered a strong pipeline of contract awards over the past year, SIMPEC continues to consolidate its position and build its credentials on major projects.”

The company added: “SIMPEC continues to tender strongly for new work and expects outcomes from these tendering activities in due course.”

SIMPEC to work on Tianqi Lithium’s Kwinana processing plant

WestStar’s SIMPEC business has been awarded an A$8 million ($5.8 million) contract by MSP Engineering at the Tianqi Lithium Kwinana processing plant in Western Australia.

The award, the company’s largest contract to date, follows on from SIMPEC’s work for MSP at the Talison lithium CGP2 project in Greenbushes, WA, a mine owned 51:49 by Tianqi and Albemarle.

The work on the lithium hydroxide process plant (LHPP1) at Kwinana involves pyromet piping installation.

MSP is the head contractor for the design and construction of the Kwinana LHPP1 project, which is being designed to produce lithium hydroxide monohydrate from the processing of spodumene ore from the Talison Greenbushes operation. The plant will have a total output of 48,000 t/y upon completion, SIMPEC says.

With this award, the WestStar group has built an order book of some A$25 million, the company said.