Tawana lithium spodumene production up by 63% in Q3 2018

Lithium spodumene miner Tawana Resources reported a quarter-on-quarter production increase of 63% from operations at Bald Hill in Western Australia in July-September this year, in a results statement for the third quarter published on Wednesday October 31.

The Australian miner produced 28,419 tonnes of lithium spodumene in the quarter ended on September 30, compared with 17,403 tonnes in the previous three months.

Tawana sold and shipped a total of 29,006 tonnes of lithium spodumene in the September quarter.

Production of lithium spodumene from the Bald Hill mine averaged an overall concentrate grade of a minimum of 6%, according to Tawana, with an average production cost of $660 per tonne.

Tawana’s shipments were said to be priced at $880 per tonne on a fob basis under a five-year term agreement at a fixed price for the next two years. This price was not confirmed in the results statement, however.

Fastmarkets most recently assessed the price of lithium spodumene, cif China, down by 6.25% to $700-800 per tonne on October 31, from $750-850 per tonne on September 26, due to lower lithium carbonate prices in China.

Tawana has lowered its production target for lithium concentrate for July-December 2018 to 55,000-60,000 tonnes, from the 60,000-75,000 tonnes previously forecast.

The company cited mining delays and throughput limitations during construction of a tailings dam in the October-December quarter as the main reasons for the lower expected production.

*All lithium carbonate, hydroxide and spodumene prices are available in our Battery Raw Materials Market Tracker. Get a sample of the report here.