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New CEO for world’s largest hard rock lithium mine

Raj Surendran has been appointed as chief executive officer of Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia (TLEA), a joint venture between global lithium producer Tianqi Lithium Corporation and Australian miner IGO Limited.

The appointment follows the resignation of Yasmin Liu, who led TLEA in its first year, establishing the new joint venture partnership.

The board thanked Liu for her outstanding leadership, and for her guidance and support of the executive team during this time, while they commissioned the new, Australian-first, lithium hydroxide plant in Kwinana, Western Australia.

Liu will return to China to resume her role as executive vice-president (chief strategic integration officer) at Tianqi Lithium Corporation.

Raj Surendran.

Surendran is a highly experienced senior executive with over 20 years of finance, business development, strategy, project management and commercial leadership experience in Australia.

He has held senior finance positions with Aurizon, Wesfarmers, BGC Australia and DUET Group (Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline). He joined Tianqi Lithium in 2019 as general manager finance before being appointed chief operating officer of the newly formed TLEA joint venture in September 2021.

As COO, he has led the Kwinana team through many milestone accomplishments including the achievement of first battery-grade lithium in May 2022.

TLEA owns 100 per cent of the Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery and 51 per cent of the Talison lithium mine in Greenbushes, WA: the world’s largest and highest quality hard rock lithium deposit.

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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