Liontown Resources is rapidly progressing its Kathleen Valley lithium project near Leinster in Western Australia with first production forecast to begin a year ahead of schedule.
A pre-feasibility study in October 2020 had first production scheduled for 2025, however a definitive feasibility study (DFS) has brought that estimate forward to the first half of 2024.
According to a statement from Liontown, the DFS confirms the potential to develop a state-of-the-art, second-generation lithium-tantalum mining and processing operation at Kathleen Valley.
Liontown chief executive officer and managing director Tony Ottaviano said the completion of the DFS marked a major step towards the company becoming a substantial global lithium producer and lays very strong foundations for its aspirations to become a world-class battery materials company.
“With Liontown now firmly established on a trajectory to become Australia’s next major lithium producer, this is an exciting time for our shareholders as we move from exploration to full-scale development at Kathleen Valley, finalise offtake and funding discussions, and secure the backing we need to commence project execution,” Ottaviano said.
“This is a major new Australian resource project, in a future-facing commodity, that we believe will deliver exceptional long-term returns for our shareholders, all of our other key stakeholders and the state of Western Australia.”
The Kathleen Valley lithium project is located on four granted mining licences and one mining licence application, approximately 680 kilometres north-east of Perth and 400 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie in the north-eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
The project is readily accessible by sealed highways which connect with mineral exporting ports at both Geraldton and Esperance.
Ottaviano said the other key highlight of the DFS is the way the company will incorporate its ESG (environmental, social and governance) framework into the project development right from the outset.
“This includes the sector-leading adoption of renewable power generation to deliver a low-carbon footprint and the early inclusion of the Tjiwarl Native Title holders, and heritage considerations in the design, planning and layout of the project,” he said.