Liontown Resources Ltd says it has awarded a key contract to Metso Outotec for the design, fabrication and delivery of a SAG mill for its flagship Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia.
Following the completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Kathleen Valley in November 2021, the company has completed further engineering optimisation to confirm the scope and duty of the SAG mill to a sufficient level of detail to enable it to place the order with the OEM.
The contract, which has a value of circa-A$10 million ($7.2 million) and is in accordance with DFS estimates, is for the design, fabrication and delivery of a 7.9 m diameter and 4.4 m effective grinding length 5.5 MW SAG mill. This is inclusive of all lining, lubrication, cooling, electrical and mechanical drive systems necessary for installation and commissioning.
The SAG mill, from Metso Outotec’s Premier™ range (an example above), will accommodate both base production of 2.5 Mt/y and the planned expansion to 4 Mt/y in year six of the mine plan, Liontown said.
The SAG mill is one of several critical long-lead items identified for early award and represents the largest single piece of equipment required to be purchased for the project by size, value and lead time, the company added.
“Detailed engineering and design for the A$473 million Kathleen Valley project continues and Liontown is targeting the award of all key equipment packages over the next six months to maintain schedule and meet its target of first production of lithium concentrate in 2024,” it said.
Other key project deliverables including final permitting and securing the engineering, procurement and construction management partner to build and commission the Kathleen Valley project are progressing to meet the targeted Final Investment Decision milestone by the end of the June quarter.
Liontown’s Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, said: “The SAG mill contract is the first of the long-lead items to be ordered and represents an important milestone for the Kathleen Valley project. Placing this significant order with a world-class partner in Metso Outotec is a great way to start the year and reflects our commitment to advance the Kathleen Valley project rapidly towards first production.”
The November 2021 DFS outlined base production of 2.5 Mt/y, producing around 500,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate with a 4 Mt/y expansion planned in year six, to deliver circa-700,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate.
The Metso Outotec Premier horizontal grinding mills are customisable solutions built on state-of-the-art grinding mill technology, process expertise and design capability, the OEM says. They are engineered to “excel and create vast possibilities” for customers and applications.