Lithium exports to surge on ‘perpetual’ supply deficit – by Peter Ker and Richard Henderson (Australian Financial Review – April 5, 2022)

One of Australia’s biggest lithium mines will resume exports four months sooner than expected as bumper prices for the battery mineral incentivised miners to raise output and extend the life of their mines.

Mineral Resources said “unprecedented global customer demand for lithium product” had convinced it to resume exports from Western Australia’s Wodgina mine in May, rather than the September schedule it had previously given to investors.

Wodgina has three processing “trains” that are each capable of producing 250,000 tonnes of lithium-rich spodumene concentrate, and Mineral Resources said the first train would resume in May and that a second would restart in July.

Mineral Resources also owns half of WA’s Mt Marion lithium mine with Chinese partner Ganfeng and said annual production capacity at the mine would be raised from 450,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate to 600,000 tonnes before the end of April.

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