US lithium producer Albemarle and joint venture partner Tianqi have approved a major expansion to their Australian lithium mine at Greenbushes, Western Australia.
Albemarle announced on March 19 the joint venture had approved the expansion of lithium concentrate production at Greenbushes, which is a spodumene mine.
“This project is integral to our announced lithium expansion plans so that we can meet the growing needs of our customers,” Albermarle lithium president John Mitchell said.
“The expansion of the mine and ore upgrading facilities is a key deliverable in our supply chain strategy …”
Albermarle says it wants to grow total combined lithium equivalent production to approximately 165,000 tonnes per annum by the early 2020s.
The expansion at Greenbushes will double the facility’s capacity from 80,000 tonnes per annum, to 160,000 tonnes per annum, with Albermarle holding 50% of that offtake capacity.
The North Carolina-based business said commissioning of the expansion is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.
Greenbushes is in south-east WA, roughly 70 kilometres south of Bunbury.