As part of our overall strategy to create value for shareholders, we are actively investigating the potential for an integrated refinery to upgrade our spodumene from the Kathleen Valley mine to higher value lithium products that will meet the needs of our customers.
Refining spodumene into lithium products presents an attractive growth opportunity for us to increase value to our shareholders.
Kathleen Valley’s large, high-quality resource would underwrite up to approximately 86ktpa of battery grade lithium hydroxide production, providing a platform for Liontown to become a fully integrated lithium chemicals producer.
We are exploring a refinery to take our spodumene to lithium intermediates, such as lithium sulphate (which would then be further refined to lithium hydroxide in a finishing plant closer to customers), as well as through to final battery-grade lithium hydroxide. Such is the size of our Kathleen Valley resource, Liontown will need multiple trains which can be brought on in a phased manner and could support multiple refinery locations, including Australia or countries closer to our customers and end-markets.
By staging the development of refining capacity, we will have flexibility on product, final sizing and specific timing of development while also reducing implementation risk.
An updated Downstream Scoping Study (DSS), released in November 2021, confirmed the opportunity for an integrated mining, processing and refining operation in Australia, using 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate produced at our processing plant as feedstock for the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide at the refinery.
We are progressing further work on the DSS to address three key areas:
- updating costings to reflect capital escalation that has been seen across the industry
- progressing a trade-off study comparing the construction of a plant to process our spodumene into intermediate lithium products rather than all the way to battery-grade lithium hydroxide
- identifying suitable industrial sites for building a refinery in Western Australia and other jurisdictions.