By Cameron Drummond
US lithium producer Albemarle has approved the expansion of lithium concentrate production at its Greenbushes spodumene mine in WA.
Greenbushes is currently the world’s largest active lithium mine, owned in a 50:50 joint venture between Albemarle and Chinese producer Tianqi Lithium.
The proposed expansion is intended to more than double the lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) capacity at Greenbushes from its current 80,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) output to more than 160,000tpa.
“This project is integral to our announced lithium expansion plans so that we can meet the growing needs of our customers,” Albemarle Lithium and Advanced Material president John Mitchell said.
“The expansion of the mine and ore upgrading facilities is a key deliverable in our supply strategy to grow total combined LCE production to approximately 165,000tpa early in the next decade.”
Commissioning of the expansion is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.