ONE of biggest success stories in Western Australia’s mining sector is in the sleepy South-West town of Greenbushes – and it doesn’t involve iron ore, gold or nickel.
Talison Minerals’ tantalum and spodumene mine in Greenbushes, 250km south-east of Perth, is currently producing 50 % of the world’s tantalum and 80 % of the world’s lithium minerals.
The Greenbushes operation is the largest single operating tantalum and spodumene mine in the world.
The operation comprises of an open-pit and underground mine, a primary and secondary tantalum processing plant, tin smelter and a lithium plant.
According to the Western Australia Government, Greenbushes is a big operation with mineral resources of about 91 million tonnes of tantalum with a processing capacity of four million tonnes per annum and about 36 million tonnes of lithium minerals with a processing capacity of 500 thousand tonnes per annum.
Talison Minerals’ operations