IGO’s battery chemical plant fizzes – by Elouise Fowler (Australian Financial Review – July 31, 2023)


West Australian nickel and lithium miner IGO confessed output at its troubled battery metal refining plant was “well below expectation”, casting doubts over Australia’s plans to dent mainland China’s dominance in battery chemical refining.

The Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery, south of Perth, produced a mere 142 tonnes in the June quarter, an 85 per cent drop on the March quarter and significantly lower than the plant’s annual nameplate capacity of 24,000 tonnes.

Matt Dusci, IGO’s acting chief executive, said on a call with analysts on Monday that the result was “well below expectation”. The company’s shares closed 4.8 per cent lower to $13.78.

IGO owns and operates the Kwinana facility with Chinese lithium giant Tianqi via a joint venture in which they also own a majority stake in Greenbushes, the highest-grade and largest spodumene deposit in the world. New York-listed Albemarle owns the remaining 49 per cent of the mine, which is 240 kilometres south of Perth. Battery-grade lithium and nickel are essential commodities for decarbonisation and are heavily sought after by electric car makers.

For the rest of this article: https://www.afr.com/companies/mining/nickel-and-lithium-miner-igo-posts-record-quarterly-earnings-20230731-p5dshg