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|From: madrid (Rep: 0) reply to madrid||Date: 01/28/2017 12:20|
|Forum: Mining and Commodities Eh! - Msg #5719||Thread #673900955 (Rec: 0) |
|Re: Galaxy Resources .|
Galaxy Resources waves off first lithium shipment from Mt Cattlin mine
Western Australia continues to stake its claim as the world's lithium mining capital, with Galaxy Resources waving off the first shipment from its recommissioned Mt Cattlin mine near Ravensthorpe.
About 10,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate left Esperance Port on January 2 aboard NY Trader 1 bound for Lianyungang Port in China.
The first shipment was valued at $US6 million, with Galaxy planning production of 160,000 tonnes this year.
Mt Cattlin operated from 2009 to 2012 and the restart was the brainchild of Perth businessman Michael Fotios, whose company — ASX-listed General Mining Corporation — was acquired by Galaxy in a $217 million takeover last year.
The restart included refurbishing the Mt Cattlin processing plant and doubling throughput to about 1.6 million tonnes per annum, while the cost of the works blew out from an initial estimate of $15 million to $22.4 million.
Galaxy's managing director Anthony Tse said production at Mt Cattlin continued to ramp up with daily plant utilisation now averaging 72 per cent.
"This is an exciting day for Galaxy and for our customers," he said.
"It marks another major achievement and signals Galaxy's formal transition back to producer status, elevating it into the ranks of global lithium producing companies.
"There has been a tremendous amount of hard work with some very long hours put in, under tight and challenging deadlines, to get the operations to the stage where they are at and to allow us to make our first shipment."
Mt Cattlin one of three lithium mines in WA
Lithium is a soft, silvery white metal which is highly reactive and a key component in new-generation batteries.
The chemical does not occur in nature in its elemental form, but compounds within hard rock deposits and salt brines.
Australian hard rock miners argue they are strategically placed compared to Chinese and South American competitors who typically source supplies from "poorer quality brines".
Elon Musk's Tesla is example of lithium potential
Mr Tse pointed to US technology company Tesla, headed by billionaire Elon Musk, as an example of the lithium industry's potential, predicting the next wave of investment would be driven by home power storage units, which take households off the electricity grid.
Tesla's Powerwall — a 7 kilowatt per hour (kWh) lithium-ion-battery system that stores electricity generated from rooftop solar panels during the day so electricity can be used during peak-usage times at night — became available in Australia earlier in 2016.
Many experts argue the emerging technology is not yet cost-efficient but Mr Tse said once they were, demand for lithium would rise.
"There are a lot of companies out there [exploring for lithium] but we have to be realistic about how many will get into production," Mr Tse said.
"I think the demand side of the equation is here for the long run, and I think potentially [there are] some future surprises for further growth, not only the electronics and automobile sector but the energy storage sector, which I think will be the next high growth sector.
"Things like home storage and distributor storage will be another end-user segment that will continue to push demand up."
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