Metso awarded major Albemarle contract at Kemerton lithium plant


Metso has won a contract to supply pyro-processing and comminution equipment to Albemarle Corp’s Kemerton lithium plant near Bunbury, Western Australia.

Metso will supply calciner and acid roast systems, off-gas handling systems and ball mills as part of its supply to the site, which is scheduled to commence operations in 2021. Metso did not divulge details regarding the revenue of the contract.

Kemerton will be supplied with lithium concentrate from Albemarle’s Greenbushes mine located around 100 kilometres to the southeast of the plant site. The plant is scheduled to start with three production trains before expanding to five trains by 2025, increasing lithium hydroxide production from an initial 60,000 tonnes a year to 100,000 tonnes a year (20,000 tonnes per train).

“Lithium projects are on the increase, and at Metso we have diversified our solutions and services to meet this growing demand,” said Victor Tapia, Metso’s president for mining equipment business.

“We are the technology leader in minerals processing with a strong and capable support organisation close to our customers.”

Metso senior vice president for the Australian market Ross Wotherspoon also said that Metso was pleased to be playing an “important role” in Albemarle’s plans to supply booming global demand for battery-quality lithium chemicals.

The news follows on from the announcement of two other prominent contracts at Kemerton in February. Engineering services company Civmec was chosen by Albemarle to construct the lithium hydroxide plant at Kemerton, while BGC Contracting was hired to provide earthworks and construction access at the site.

The $1 billion Kemerton facility is expected to become WA’s largest lithium plant once completed.

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