Galaxy Resources has announced that it will temporarily halt operations at its Mt Cattlin project due to high stockpile levels of spodumene ahead of its plant schedule.
The company explained that "improved production rates that mine and processing plant, coupled with the Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate plant being in ramp-up phase, has resulted in a build up of internal spodumene inventory levels to approximately 12 months supply of feedstock for the plant".
Iggy Tan, Galaxy's managing director stated that "the Mt Cattlin project was brought online ahead of schedule and has recorded strong production rates. The Jiangsu plant is three months into a 12 month ramp-up; resulting in an internal inventory imbalance…a pause in operations at Mt Cattlin is the best and most financially prudent way to address this imbalance and difference in start-up profiles of this operations.
According to Galaxy the operational halt will allow it to bring down stockpiles to a more manageable level.
It will also reduce group cash outlays by around $4 million per month.
Despite the work stoppage Galaxy says that its employees at the site will be retained and readied for work recommencement, however the mining contractors and fleets are being demobilised until operations restart.
It added that it "is working with the mining contractor to provide support and assistance packages to contract personnel".
In the mean time the miner will not sell any of its spodumene concentrate to third party competitors, "preferring to command a price premium by converting all its spodumene to lithium carbonate at Jiangsu".