Mining firm IGO and its joint venture (JV) partner Tianqi Lithium have produced the first batch of battery-grade lithium hydroxide at the Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery in Western Australia.

The JV will now focus on operating the first production train (Train I) at the refinery on a continuous basis to meet the increasing demand for lithium hydroxide, which is used in electric-vehicle (EV) batteries.

Train I is to be commissioned this year and reach 24,000tpa production capacity by Q4 2022.

IGO managing director and CEO Peter Bradford said: “First production of lithium hydroxide is the first step of a journey but nevertheless represents a key milestone for the Lithium JV.

“We are therefore delighted to have achieved this first important step in the commissioning of Train I and to have done so ahead of the internal schedule developed earlier this year.”

Currently under construction, the refinery’s Train II is slated for commissioning in 2024.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Upon completion, the plant will comprise two production trains with an aggregate capacity of 48,000tpa of lithium hydroxide.

The facility receives high-quality spodumene concentrate sourced from the Greenbushe mine, to produce the battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

IGO and Tianqi respectively have 49% and 51% stakes in the JV, which owns and operates the fully automated Kwinana refinery.

Through the JV, IGO also owns a 25% stake in the Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia.

IGO managing director and CEO Peter Bradford said: “The strong demand being witnessed in the lithium market globally reinforces the strategic nature of Kwinana which, together with the Lithium JV’s interest in the Greenbushes mine, is rapidly evolving into a globally significant, integrated lithium operation catering to the specific needs of premium lithium-ion battery manufacturers.”

Last week, IGO said it was in preliminary talks to purchase Western Area, an Australia-based nickel miner.