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MinRes to develop lithium processing hub

Mineral Resources (MinRes) today announced it intends to develop a lithium processing hub in the southern Goldfields region after entering into a Binding Heads of Agreement with Poseidon Nickel to acquire the Lake Johnston nickel concentrator plant and tenure.

The acquisition aligns with the strategy to process fines from MinRes’ Bald Hill and Mt Marion lithium operations, new discoveries made by MinRes in the region and third-party ore in exchange for project equity.

Lake Johnston is a nickel concentrator plant with a flotation circuit that has front-end capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum and is capable of being converted to treat lithium ores, including dense media separation fines.

The asset is licensed to operate to 2041 and has an active groundwater extraction licence. On-site infrastructure includes an airstrip, 200-person camp, electrical infrastructure, workshops and laboratories.

Internal studies by MinRes indicated repurposing a brownfields site would reduce the approvals timelines by circa two years compared to a greenfields development, in addition to significant capital savings.

Located approximately 185km southwest of Kalgoorlie, the acquired tenure covers 86km2 with one exploration license and 10 mining leases. MinRes will own the tenure outright, including all mineral rights.

MinRes Managing Director Chris Ellison said: “This is an exciting opportunity to develop MinRes’ third lithium processing hub in the Goldfields and the first to include flotation capacity to treat fines.

“We intend to bring our expertise in spodumene production to Lake Johnston, which has the potential to service projects throughout the world’s most prospective region for lithium.”

MinRes will pay $1 million on execution of the Binding Heads of Agreement, $6.5 million on completion of the Sale and Purchase Agreement and $7.5 million 12 months after completion. The transaction is conditional upon satisfaction of several conditions.

Full details are available in our ASX Announcement.