Located directly south and adjacent to the town of Greenbushes.
Talison Lithium’s lithium mining and processing operation is located directly south and 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.
Mining, timber milling, faming and tourism form the backbone of the industry in the South West.
The attractive location of the Lithium operations, both in proximity to Perth and the coastal holiday regions of the South West Western Australia, enables us to recruit and retain a talented and stable workforce who generally live in the local area.
Talison Lithium and its predecessor companies have been producing lithium from the Greenbushes lithium operations since 1983 and Greenbushes 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 ore body at Greenbushes started in 1983 with the first lithium processing plant commissioned in 1985. Since that time the lithium processing facilities have been expanded several times to produce a range of lithium concentrates.
The Greenbushes operations has undergone a number of expansions over the past 30 years to maintain its position as a major supplier or lithium mineral concentrates. In 2017 Talison Lithium commenced construction of a second large chemical grade lithium processing plant (CGP2) which is due to be commissioned in the Second Quarter of 2019. This project will more than double production at the mine to 1.34mtpa of lithium concentrates.
Planning is now underway for the construction of a third lithium processing plant and a tailings retreatment facility at Greenbushes. These projects are awaiting regulatory approval with construction expected to commence in the Third Quarter of 2019. The expansion of production facilities will enable Talison Lithium to supply the downstream processing industry being established in Western Australia by Tianqi Lithium Corporation and Albemarle Corporation.
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 300m 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 km long and enriched with the lithium-bearing mineral spodumene, which often makes up 50 percent of the rock. The Greenbushes pegmatite has unique features that distinguish it from many other rare-metal pegmatites.
Lithium ore (spodumene) at Greenbushes is mined from the fresh, unweathered zones in the pegmatite that are exposed in the open pits.
Mining is a 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.
The Greenbushes mining operations has two processing plants, one producing technical grade lithium concentrates and one producing chemical grade lithium concentrate. Ore containing 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 and bagged shipments.
Various operating modes are used in the processing plants to produce a variety of different lithium concentrates to meet specific customer requirements. Our products and processes have the international BVQI (Quality) Certification.
Construction of a second chemical grade lithium plant (CGP2) is underway with commissioning of this facility expected in the second quarter of 2019.
Wherever possible we have prioritised local procurement of services and personnel for our Greenbushes Expansion Project.
Talison Lithium has its own analytical laboratory where samples of various mineral processes are analysed to determine chemical and physical characteristics. Constructed in 1995, the Laboratory is designed to provide fast, comprehensive sample analysis of mining, mineral processing, marketing and environmental samples.
The Laboratory is manned on a 24 hour shift, seven days a week. The Laboratory is able to receive and analyse 400 samples per day and provide approximately 12,000 component analysis results daily.
To maintain the project life Talison Lithium has commenced an exploration program to replace reserves as they are depleted by mining. The program is focussed on identifying and proving additional pegmatites within the mineral leases and exploring the Central Lode Orebody at depth to confirm future underground mining potential.