- ASX 200-lister Mineral Resources (MIN) and its joint venture partner, Albemarle, are restarting operations at the Wodgina lithium mine after a two-year hiatus
- The WA-based mine was put under care and maintenance in November 2019 due to weak global market conditions
- While Wodgina has a processing capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) spodumene concentrate, the partners will focus on just one line until market demand is sufficient enough
- Mineral and Albemarle expect to start producing spodumene concentrate in the third quarter of 2022
- MIN’s shares are up 8.68 per cent to trade at $42.80
Mineral Resources (MIN) has announced the decision to restart operations at the Wodgina lithium mine after it was placed on care and maintenance in November 2019.
The decision was made by the MARBL lithium joint venture which is owned by Mineral and US-based chemical manufacturer, Albemarle Corporation.
This joint venture was formed for the exploration, development, mining, processing and production of lithium and other minerals from the Wodgina project as well as for the operation of the Kemerton lithium hydroxide conversion assets.
The WA-based mine has an installed processing capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of spodumene concentrate and is equipped with its own 64-megawatt gas-fired power plant, a 700-bed accommodation village and an airfield capable of landing A320 aircraft.
MARBL will initially focus on restarting one of Wodgina’s three 250,000tpa processing lines and when market demand is sufficient, additional processing lines may be recommenced.
The start-up and initial operating phase at Wodgina is expected to create 200 new full time jobs.
Mineral Resources Managing Director Chris Ellison said he was pleased to resume operations at the mine.
“We are delighted that the MARBL JV has decided to restart Wodgina, a world-class lithium opportunity that MRL developed into a mine with world-class potential,” he said.
“It was the correct decision in late 2019 to place Wodgina on care and maintenance though it never dented our confidence in lithium’s long-term positive demand fundamentals.
“As we said at the time and repeat today, in Albemarle we have the best partner to deliver maximum and sustainable value from world-class assets like Wodgina.”
The companies expect to start producing spodumene concentrate in the third quarter of 2022.
MIN’s shares were up 8.68 per cent to trade at $42.80 at 12:51 pm AEDT.