Western Australia’s Goldfields continues to prove itself as a bold new frontier for Lithium as Liontown resources commence open pit mining operations at its Kathleen Valley lithium project, with first blasts having taken place at the Mt Mann open pit.
Along with the first blasting at Mt Mann, the company is moving on expanding the Kathleen’s Corner open pit, which will result in more material moved over the initial period.
Commencement at the pits will generate material for the Run-of-Mine pad and Tailings Storage Facility, potential Direct Shipping Ore and a stockpile of mill feed to facilitate the start-up commissioning and ramp-up of the process plant, with first production on schedule for mid-2024.
The company plans for the Kathleen Valley project to become one of the world’s largest lithium mines when it comes on stream next year, supplying an estimated 500 thousand tonnes of lithium oxide concentrate at a grade of 6 per cent Li2O.
Holding an MRE of 156Mt at 1.4% Li2O, Liontown has been leading the lithium charge in the Northern Goldfields with Kathleen Valley as other explorers enter the region move on replicating its success.
A number of junior explorers have emerged in this region including Oar Resource, who have been zeroing in on a number of lithium-bearing pegmatites at its Denchi project.
The company’s faith in the project has led to expand the exploration area beyond a thousand metres with applications for five additional tenements covering lithium prospective land.
Liontown said the commencement of open pit mining was a major milestone as it turns from explorer to producer.
“Completion of the first blast and commencement of open pit mining operations at Kathleen Valley is a significant milestone for Liontown, signifying our transition from explorer to mining operator. Achieving this milestone ahead of schedule is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Liontown and Iron Mining Contracting teams,” director and chief executive Tonny Ottaniano said.
“We are excited to be working with the experienced team at Iron Mine Contracting. We have every confidence in their ability to deliver results and look forward to partnering with them to bring our Kathleen Valley Lithium Project to life.”