Talison Lithium is set begin the Stage 2 expansion of production capacity of the chemical-grade plant at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in Western Australia.

The expansion, expected to cost A$65-A$70m (US$66-71m) includes a new, purpose-built, large-scale chemical-grade lithium concentrate production facility.

The expansion will reduce the firm’s unit operating costs through improved lithium recovery and economies of scale, and will boost the total production capacity to about 740,000t per annum lithium concentrate.

Talison plans to begin the expansion operations and site works in April 2011 and commissioning of the expansion in the second quarter of 2012.

Talison CEO Peter Oliver said the expansion was in line with the firm’s strategy to leverage the strengths of its large, high-grade lithium deposit at Greenbushes Lithium Operations and its technical expertise in the production of lithium concentrate.