Tianqi could ramp up mine output to meet lithium target
Published: Friday, 22 September 2017
In order to ensure sufficient raw material supply to meet its 100,000tpa lithium chemical production target, Chinese producer Tianqi could further increase spodumene output at its joint-venture Australian mine or speed up production at its new Sichuan project.
Chinese producer Tianqi Lithium Corp could ramp up spodumene
production at joint-venture Talison Lithium Ltd and speed up
progress of its Sichuan project in order to meet internal raw
During a question and answer session in mid August,
investors questioned Tianqi on the supply gap as the lithium
concentrate output at Talison mine in Australia as still
insufficient to meet Tianqi’s demand.
Talison - a JV between Albermarle Corp and Tianqi - has been
expanding its lithium concentrate production at its Greenbushes
spodumene mine in Australia. The 1.34m tpa spodumene ramp-up at
Talison was scheduled to be completed in Q2 2019.
The planned expansion at Talison would help to ensure raw
material supply could meet Tianqi’s lithium
chemical production target of 100,000tpa by 2020, the producer
There is also a chance for further expansion in the future
due to the huge 80m tonnes reserves at the
company’s Australian Greenbushes mine site, Tianqi
The other source of supply would be from the spodumene
project in Sichuan province.
Although the progress of the construction has been slow, the
process could accelerate as Tianqi is constantly communicating
with the local government, it said..
Tianqi Lithium Corp. produces lithium
spodumene from its own
Production cost stable
Tianqi said that although it can control the cost of
producing lithium carbonate up to a point, due to the fact it
supplies the input material (spodumene), the cost of production
can still fluctuate. This is because of changes in energy
prices and hikes in the cost of other input materials -
such as sulphuric acid and alkali.
Indeed, the operating cost increased in H1 2017, mainly
because Tianqi’s output and sales have both
expanded during the period.
Lithium carbonate price trend
Tianqi said that while "price fluctuation is normal", as it
is determined by the market, prices were unlikely to fall
back to levels seen before battery demand boom. The high raw
material cost would support carbonate prices, it added, as
evidenced in newly-operated projects.