Kidman Resources Limited has released the results of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) completed on the proposed Kwinana Lithium Refinery and an updated scoping study on the proposed Mt Holland lithium mine and concentrator.
According to Kidman, the studies confirm that the integrated project, comprising the mine and concentrator and refinery (together, the Mt Holland Lithium Project), being developed by Kidman (50 per cent) and joint venture (JV) partner Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (50 per cent), has a compelling business case with attractive economics.
The Mt Holland Lithium Project is set to produce a spodumene concentrate from the mine and concentrator, which will be transported to the refinery and processed to produce an average of approximately 45,254 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide (LiOH).
The project is forecast to make Covalent Lithium Pty Ltd. (formerly Western Australian Lithium JV) a leading provider of refined battery-grade LiOH, primarily for supply to electric vehicle manufacturers.
Major outcomes for the integrated Mt Holland Lithium Project from the Scoping Study and PFS include:
- Projected annual average production of approximately 45,254 tonnes of LiOH.
- Total integrated capital cost of US$601 million, excluding contingency.
- Globally competitive C1 cash operating cost (excluding state government royalties and contingency) of US$4,487 per tonne of LiOH.
- Forecast life of project revenue of US$33.5 billion and project Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$22.0 billion over an estimated project life of 47 years.
- Average annual project revenue of US$713 million and average annual project EBITDA of US$467 million.
- Multiple opportunities identified to reduce capital cost estimates and improve the overall project value.
- Expected to create close to 700 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and approximately 300 full-time equivalent jobs during operations.
- Royalties to WA Government expected to be in excess of A$1.7 billion, based on current model estimates.
Kidman’s CEO and Managing Director, Martin Donohue, said that these studies mark an important milestone in the project to deliver a long-life, vertically-integrated lithium mine-to-refinery operation in Western Australia.
“Covalent Lithium will be a producer of premium refined battery-grade lithium, which will be a competitive advantage for Kidman’s marketing activities both now and into the future. We are pleased with the findings of these studies including the attractive economics, the clear potential to further optimise the cost structure and the opportunities for local job creation. We look forward to updating the market with further progress as the project advances as planned,” he said.
The full announcement and more information on the project can be found here.