Kathleen Valley Lithium Project

OPPORTUNITY

The 100%-owned Kathleen Valley Lithium Tantalum Project has rapidly emerged as a Tier-1 battery metals asset with excellent grade and scale in one of Western Australia’s best mining districts.  

With three successive resource upgrades delivered since late 2018, Liontown has positioned itself at the forefront of a new generation of lithium developers.

RESOURCES AND EXPANSION

In May 2020, Liontown announced a further MRE update for the Kathleen Valley Project of 156Mt @ 1.4% Li2O and 130ppm Ta2O5.

The lithium is hosted by mineralised pegmatites that have been intersected over a strike length of 1.7km and to a vertical depth of 600m – with the system remaining open towards the north-west and down-dip.

The updated MRE, which represents the third successive increase since the maiden Mineral Resource was published in September 2018, clearly establishes Kathleen Valley as one of Australia’s premier lithium deposits.

The upgraded MRE provided the basis for an updated Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for which results were announced in early October 2020.

The updated PFS outlines stronger economics for the project compared with the December 2019 PFS. The updated PFS estimates the project’s NPV at $1.12b (previously $507m), IRR at 37% (previously 25%), LOM free cash flow of $4.8b (previously $1.9b) with development capital costs at $325m.

Liontown will now commence a definitive feasibility study (DFS) on Kathleen Valley,

Liontown has a track record of consistently meeting or exceeding targets and the Company expects to continue this fast-paced development beyond 2020 – as reflected by the following major milestones achieved in less than two years:

Updated PFS highlights

  • An increased Ore Reserve to 71Mt at 1.40% Li2O and 130ppm Ta2O5 has underpinned an extension to the mine life to ~40 years (previously 26 years), while maintaining a 2Mtpa mining rate.
  • Metallurgical test work in 2020 has resulted in a revised Whole of Ore Flotation (WOF) flowsheet capable of producing >6% Li2O spodumene concentrate at a recovery rate of 76-78% and a tantalum concentrate at an onsite recovery rate of 56%.
  • Tantalum concentrate produced at Kathleen Valley will undergo offsite upgrades to produce a final 30% Ta2O5 concentrate product.
  • The updated PFS has also outlined an optimised open pit and underground mine plan which provides earlier access to higher grade mineralisation and an improvement in LOM ore feed grade to 1.4% (previously 1.2%), increasing annual production to average 350ktpa SC6 and 430tpa of 30% Ta2O5 concentrate.

The upgraded PFS (+25% accuracy) will provide a solid basis for the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) (+15% accuracy).

For further information please see our Investor Presentation and ASX Announcements.

LOCATION

Kathleen Valley is located on granted Mining Leases in an established and well serviced mining region, approximately 680km north-east of Perth, WA (Figure 1). 

The Project is readily accessible by sealed highways which connect with mineral exporting ports at Geraldton and Esperance. Other infrastructure located close to the Project includes a power line, a natural gas pipeline and mine camps with sealed airstrips capable of taking 100 seat jets.

Figure 1: Kathleen Valley Project Location

GEOLOGY

The Kathleen Valley Lithium-Tantalum Project is located on the western edge of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt within the Archaean Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. The belt consists dominantly of mafic and ultramafic volcanics as well as considerable volumes of clastic sediments, minor felsic volcanics and differentiated gabbros.  The greenstones in the Kathleen Valley area have been metamorphosed to upper greenschist-lower amphibolite facies metamorphic grades and include tholeiitic lavas, differentiated gabbroic sills and ultramafic chlorite schists.

Lithium mineralisation is hosted within spodumene-bearing pegmatites, which are part of a series of LCT-type rare metal pegmatites that intrude mafic and sedimentary rocks in the region.

Twenty mineralised pegmatites have been modelled at the Kathleen Valley Project hosted by two, outcropping, NW/SE trending pegmatite swarms – a shallowly-dipping, north-eastern swarm (Kathleen’s Corner), which contains approximately 90% of the pegmatites, and a steeper dipping south-western swarm (Mt Mann). The two swarms are interpreted to merge at depth to form a single, thick, moderately dipping mineralised body which remains open down-dip and along strike.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Click here for JORC Tables.

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