Positive step in Ravensthorpe

A new lithium operation may help to kickstart a turnaround for the embattled Ravensthorpe community.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett last Friday turned sod at a new lithium mine near Raventhorpe that he says will provide a boost to the town’s families and businesses.

According to Barnett, Galaxy Resources’ Mt Cattlin spodumene project will be a positive for the area still reeling from the closure of BHP Billiton’s nickel mine in January this year, at the cost of around 1,800 jobs.

“While dealt a hard blow earlier in the year by BHP Billiton’s closure of its Ravensthorpe nickel operations, this new lithium mine shows there is a bright future for the region,” he said.

“As the company is committed to a residential workforce, the new project will provide jobs for displaced mining workers in the region, employing up to 100 people during construction and 75 when operational.”

Galaxy said the Mt Cattlin mine will begin operation by the end of 2010 with a production target of 137,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum over the minimum 15-year life of the mine.

The ore will be exported to China for processing into long-life lithium batteries for use in hybrid and electric vehicles.

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