An $800 million expansion of Talison Lithium’s Greenbushes site will go ahead after Talison and Global Advanced Metals resolved a legal dispute over the plans.
Massachusetts-owned Global Advanced Metals launched legal action against Talison over plans to expand the lithium mine because it said the changes to the operation could potentially sterilise and waste tantalum resources it received from Greenbushes.
Talison recovers tantalum for Global during the extraction of lithium and to ensure tantalum resources are not wasted or spoiled. Part of the settlement includes a new tantalum recovery circuit to replace the existing circuit.
The first part of the expansion is due to be completed in the second quarter of 2019 as originally planned.
“Our sole focus now is to expand the Greenbushes lithium operation, which is creating hundreds of new jobs, and building on the success of this significant contributor to the WA economy,” he said.
Global Advanced Metals chief executive Andrew O'Donovan said the company and Talison had a long-established and good working relationship at Greenbushes and he was pleased to have reached an agreement.
Global challenged two expansions and both were settled.
In March 2017, Talison announced it would spend $320 million to expand the productivity of Greenbushes to 1.3 million tonnes per annum.
Sixteen months later, in July 2018, Talison announced it would spend $516 million to build a third concentrator at the Greenbushes mine to further increase output to 1.95mtpa.
Talison, owned by Tianqi Lithium Corporation and Albemarle Corporation, which are both in the process of building lithium mines in WA, has grown to be the world’s largest producer of high-quality lithium concentrates.
Global Advanced Metals is a tantalum producer with rights to Greenbushes, the world’s largest industrial resources of tantalum ore.