Kidman, SQM Release Mount Holland Lithium Studies

- October 23rd, 2018

A prefeasibility study and updated scoping study for the project have been released by joint venture partners Kidman Resources and SQM.

A fresh prefeasibility study (PFS) and updated scoping study for the Mount Holland lithium project confirm the asset’s business case and economics, says Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR). 

According to the company, the PFS was completed for the proposed Kwinana lithium refinery, while the new scoping study is for the proposed Mount Holland lithium mine and concentrator.

Results point to projected average annual production of 45,254 tonnes of lithium hydroxide (LiOH).

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They also show a total integrated capital cost of US$601 million, cash operating costs of US$4,487 per tonne of LiOH, forecasted life-of-project revenue of US$33.5 billion and EBITDA of US$22 billion over an estimated 47-year project life

Additionally, the studies identify several opportunities to reduce capital cost estimates and improve Mount Holland’s overall value. The asset is expected to create approximately 700 full-time jobs during construction and 300 full-time jobs during operations.

“These studies mark an important milestone in our project to deliver a long-life, vertically-integrated lithium mine-to-refinery operation in Western Australia, ” Kidman CEO and Managing Director Martin Donohue said in a statement.

As mentioned, Mount Holland consists of the proposed Kwinana lithium refinery and the Mount Holland lithium mine and concentrator. Together they are being developed in a 50/50 joint venture between Kidman and major lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE:SQM).

The project is set to produce spodumene concentrate from the mine and concentrator, and it will then be transported to the refinery to be processed into battery-grade LiOH.

According to Kidman, Covalent Lithium, the managing entity behind the project, will become a leading provider of refined battery-grade LiOH, with a focus on supplying electric vehicle manufacturers.

“Covalent Lithium will be a producer of premium refined battery-grade lithium, which will be a competitive advantage for Kidman’s marketing activities both now and into the future,” Donohue added.

He continued, “[w]e are pleased with the findings of these studies including the attractive economics, the clear potential to further optimise the cost structure and the opportunities for local job creation. We look forward to updating the market with further progress as the project advances as planned.”

A final investment decision for the project is expected sometime during the first half of 2019.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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