Another Greenbushes lithium expansion on the cards

Western Australia’s Greenbushes, the world’s largest lithium mine, could be set for another significant expansion in response to growing demand from the battery and electric vehicle (EV) sectors.

Operator Talison Lithium will work with MSP Engineering (MSPE) on a feasibility study for further expansion of the production capacity at the mine in the state’s South West region.

Greenbushes, a joint venture between US-based Albemarle Corp and China’s Tianqi Lithium, produces around a third of global lithium output and is already in the midst of an expansion that was announced last year.

The latest feasibility study will investigate further growth opportunities at the operation, in addition to the current expansion, known as the CGP2 project.

MSPE expects that an investment decision on the next expansion project will be made in the September quarter this year.

“The study is being commissioned in response to the growing demand for lithium oxide concentrates as a key feedstock for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries used for electric vehicles, battery storage and consumer electronics,” MSPE said in a statement.

MSPE is also the head contractor designing and constructing the $320 million CGP2 project, which is increasing the lithium concentrate production capacity at Greenbushes to around 1.34 million tonnes a year (Mt/y).

The CGP2 project is due for commissioning in the second quarter of next year.