Saturday 23rd Mar, 2019

Mineral Resources to consider selling Wodgina stake

Lithium metal. Photo: Creative Commons / Dnn87

Mineral Resources plans to sell up to 49% of its fully-owned Wodgina Lithium Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, flagging to the ASX its desire for an offtake and partnership deal.

Wodgina, located 100 kilometres south of Port Hedland, is described by MinRes as the world’s largest hard rock lithium deposit. It has a JORC resource of 233 million tonnes, and a probable hard rock ore reserve in its Casserite Pit of 142.4 million tonnes, giving it a mine life of almost 30 years at 5.65 million tonnes per annum.

The operation is currently mining direct-shipping ore at Wodgina to provide MinRes cash flow while it progresses the Wodgina open pit pre-strip, and builds a spodumene concentrate plant designed to produce 750,000 dry tonnes per annum of 6% spodumene concentrate.

Meanwhile, MinRes is working with Hatch on a study into a downstream processing plant “of globally significant scale” at Wodgina to produce lithium hydroxide, or lithium carbonate.

The time is right, managing director Chris Ellison, to bring a minority partner onboard.

“The decision to embark on a process to sell a minority interest in Wodgina will allow MRL to focus on its core strategy of being a world-leading mining services provider at the same time as having like-minded strategic partners invest with us to fully unlock Wodgina’s lithium potential,” Ellison said.

“However, MRL will only introduce project partners if acceptable terms can be secured. MRL has the capability to finance and implement its downstream processing strategy at Wodgina on its own.”