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Mineral Resources to start commissioning Wodgina lithium plant in October

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Global Mining Review,

As reported by Argus Media, West Australian lithium ore exporter Mineral Resources expects to start commissioning a concentrate processing plant at its Wodgina mine in October, ramping up to full production in next year's second quarter.

Once fully operational, the plant will have the capacity to produce 750 000 dry tpy of 6% lithium concentrate, increasing to 880 000 tpy if 5.5% lithium concentrate is targeted.

The total capital cost for the concentrate plant project, which includes a crushing plant, three concentrate production trains, an airfield, a gas pipeline and a power plant, is estimated at AUS$610 million (US$451 million). Annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is forecast at AUS$600 million based on a concentrate sales price of US$960/t.

The Wodgina mine is currently the world's largest exporter of hard rock direct shipping lithium ore with shipments to China for the year to 30 June estimated to be around 10% below annual guidance of 4.5 million t.

The company also owns 43.1% of the Mount Marion lithium project that exports lithium concentrate to China.

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