Top ten biggest lithium mines in the world (Mining Technology – August 30, 2019)

Western Australia hosts five of the world’s biggest lithium mines, whose combined reserves exceed 475.24 million tonnes (Mt). Mining-technology ranks the top ten biggest lithium mines in the world, based on proven and probable reserves.

1. Sonora Lithium Project – 243.8Mt

The Sonora lithium project, located in Sonora, Mexico, is the biggest lithium deposit is being developed by a joint venture (JV) of Bacanora Minerals (30%) and Cadence Minerals (70%).

The mine is estimated to hold proven and probable reserves of 243.8Mt, containing 4.5Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). The bankable feasibility study for the project has been completed, which estimates a mine life of 19 years.

Sonora is proposed to be an open-pit operation being developed in two stages with the first stage having a production capacity of 17,500 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium carbonate. Stage two will double the production capacity to 35,000tpa.

2. Thacker Pass Lithium Project – 179.4Mt

The Thacker Pass lithium project is located in Humboldt County, Nevada, US. It is 100% owned and operated by Lithium Americas. The mine is estimated to contain proven and probable reserves of 179.4Mt containing 3.1Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). It has an estimated mine life of 46 years.

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