Covalent Lithium has received the approvals it requires to enter the construction and operational phases at the Mt Holland lithium project in Western Australia. Covalent is a joint venture between Wesfarmers and Sociedad Quimica y Mineral de Chile S.A (SQM).
The final critical approval was granted by Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority for construction and operation of the project’s lithium hydroxide refinery in Kwinana.
“The Mt Holland lithium project has now received all critical approvals, and construction and project development have commenced,” Wesfarmers stated.
Wesfarmers reached a final investment decision with SQM for the $US1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) Mt Holland project in February. The Mt Holland project is comprised of Mt Holland mine, a spodumene concentrator and the lithium hydroxide refinery which is located in Kwinana.
Covalent is aiming to produce 45,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year once the plant is completed. The company is targeting a mine life of more than 40 years at 45,000-tonne production rate, with an 85 per cent targeted recovery of spodumene in its concentrator.
According to Covalent, the spodumene concentrator will produce more than 340,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per year. Mt Holland will produce lithium hydroxide from the second half of 2024. The mine is located on the unrehabilitated Bounty Gold operation, which was operated by Aztec Mining from 1988 to 2002.