Greenbushes Lithium Operations 

Location

The Greenbushes Lithium Operations are located directly south and immediately adjacent to the town of Greenbushes in Western Australia. It is approximately 250 kilometres south of Perth and Fremantle, a major container shipping port, and 90 kilometres south-east of the Port of Bunbury, a major bulk handling port, in the south-west of Western Australia. .

The Greenbushes Lithium Operations is located in State Forest and adjoins an agricultural region comprised of sheep and cattle farms, tree plantations and vineyards. The attractive location of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations, both in proximity to Perth and also the holiday regions of south-west Western Australia, enables Talison Lithium to recruit and retain a talented and stable workforce, who generally live in the local area.

 The location of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations is set out below.

Click on thumbnail below to enlarge map.

 

History

Talison Lithium and its predecessor companies have been producing lithium from the Greenbushes Lithium Operations for over 25 years and the Greenbushes area is recognised as the longest continuously operated mining area in Western Australia.

Tin mining commenced in the Greenbushes area in 1888 and mining of tantalum commenced in the 1940s. Initial development of the lithium ore body at Greenbushes commenced in 1983 and the first lithium processing plant was commissioned in 1985. Since that time, the lithium processing plant has been expanded several times to produce a range of lithium concentrates.

Talison Lithium completed its most recent expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Operations in mid 2012.

Geology

The Greenbushes pegmatites belong to the Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum family. The Greenbushes pegmatite deposit intrudes along a major northwest regional fault zone. It is approximately 2,525 million years old. The pegmatite consists of a large main zone over 3 kms long and up to 300 m wide with numerous smaller pegmatite dykes and pods flanking the main body. The Greenbushes pegmatites are mineralogically zoned in a lenticular interfingering style along strike and down dip. The lithium zone is over 2 kms long and enriched in the lithium-bearing mineral spodumene which often makes up 50% of the rock. Tantalum. The Greenbushes pegmatite has unique features that distinguish it from many other rare-metal pegmatites.

Mining

Lithium ore (spodumene) at Greenbushes is mined from the fresh, unweathered zones in the pegmatite that are exposed in the open pits.

Mining is traditional drill and blast method with ore graded and stockpiled according to its mineralogical characteristics and grade. Waste material is trucked to designated areas within the site where it is contoured and replanted as part of an ongoing rehabilitation plan.

Public Notice

VEGETATION CLEARING FOR EXTENSION OF WASTE ROCK DUMP, GREENBUSHES WA. (EPBC 2013/6904)

Talison Lithium Australia (TLA) proposes to extend its current waste rock dump to accommodate the future requirements of its Greenbushes mining operations, located approximately 250 km south of Perth, Western Australia in the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes. The proposed extension will take place gradually over the next ten or so years over an area of 85 hectares (ha). 

The proposed action is a controlled action under the EPBC Act and is being assessed through preliminary documentation. The controlling provisions under Part 3 of the EPBC Act are ‘Listed threatened species and communities’ (Sections 18 and 18A). 

In accordance with Section 95A(3) of the EPBC Act, the public were invited to comment on the referral documentation and additional information related to the proposed action for a period of 20 business days from 20 January 2014 to 17 February 2014 (inclusive). Four (4) public submissions were received. 

In accordance with Section 95B(2) of the EPBC Act, documents relating to the proposal, including a response from Talison to the public comments, are being published for further 10 business days to  2  September 2016 for public information. 

The documentation can be downloaded from: 

1.  EPBC Act Referral Documentation including figures and attachments.
2.  Additional information.
3.  Responses to public submissions.

The documents above are on display during the notice period at: 

  • State Library of Western Australia, 25 Francis Street, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth WA.
  • Donnybrook Community Library, 10 Bentley Street, Donnybrook WA.
  • Bridgetown Regional Library, Steere Street, Bridgetown WA.

Any enquiries regarding this process should be directed to: 

Project Environmental Manager
Talison Lithium Australia – Greenbushes Lithium Operations
PO Box 31, Greenbushes WA 6254 

or by fax to (08) 9761 2322 or by email to steve.green@talisonlithium.com.

People with special needs (i.e. for whom English is a second language or who have vision impairment) may contact the above for assistance accessing the material.

Processing

The Greenbushes Lithium Operations has two processing plants, one producing technical-grade lithium concentrates and one producing chemical-grade lithium concentrate. Ore containing 3.0% to 4.5% Li2O is fed into the processing plants which upgrade the lithium mineral, using gravity, heavy media, flotation and magnetic processes, into a range of lithium concentrates for bulk or bagged shipment.

Various operating modes are used in the processing plants to produce a variety of different lithium concentrates to meet specific customer requirements.

 

Mining at Greenbushes Lithium Operations
Mining at Greenbushes Lithium Operations Spirals at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations
Spirals at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations 
Finished product storage shed at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations

Finished product storage shed at the Greenbushes Lithium Operations