Australian Mining Information — Not Simply Lithium, However Uncommon Earths!



Andrew Forrest is a pacesetter within the transfer away from fossil fuels. He established Fortescue Future Industries (FFFI) to capitalise on and speed up the transition to a inexperienced world financial system. Just lately, whereas saying Fortescue Metals Group’s “best-ever” half-year consequence he mentioned: “Now we have … a really uncommon perception, I feel, for a mining firm, into what’s occurring within the inexperienced power revolution as a result of we converse to everyone and we personal companies, like electrolyser amenities, very massive battery amenities that are amongst essentially the most superior prototypes on the planet,” Forrest mentioned throughout Fortescue’s December quarterly investor name.

“It’s displaying us the place we have to go, what we have to concentrate on.”

And it’s not simply lithium, but additionally uncommon earths, a number of the key components in EV drivetrains and batteries. Uncommon earths are used for the manufacturing of everlasting magnets. Forrest is placing his cash and his information to good use, shopping for WAE Applied sciences and making use of their battery breakthroughs to a “massive boy’s toy” — a 240-tonne, zero-emission, battery-electric haul truck developed by Liebherr. 

The monster truck and its revolutionary battery shall be examined within the rugged situations of Fortescue Metals iron ore mines in Western Australia’s Pilbarra.

“I feel there are ample sources of uncommon earths which haven’t but been dropped at the market,” he mentioned.

Forrest’s non-public firm Wyloo metals has invested in TSX-listed Neo Efficiency Supplies, a number one world uncommon earths processing and superior everlasting magnets producer. Wyloo can also be invested in Hastings, which is creating the Yangibana uncommon earth mission in Western Australia. Hastings hopes to provide as much as 15,000 tonnes of combined uncommon earths carbonate (MREC) per 12 months.

“Our firm has by no means carried out higher,” Forrest mentioned. “Not on mining, not on exploration, not (on) inexperienced hydrogen, not on inexperienced power improvement ever. This can be a report quarter. It’s a report half and it’s getting stronger from right here.”

Dr Forrest introduced that Fortescue achieved its highest-ever December quarterly iron ore shipments, 49.4 million tonnes. This added as much as a report 96.9 million tonnes of iron ore shipped within the second half of 2022.

Lynas Uncommon Earths can also be setting information from its Mt Weld mine in Western Australia. Ore processing enhancements have led to a report quarter of uncommon earth oxide tonnes (REOt) focus being produced.

The REOt output was 5% increased than the earlier report, achieved within the second quarter of the 2017–18 monetary 12 months. Lynas is stockpiling the ore from its open minimize operations to the run of mine (ROM).

“Lynas bought neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) to China at $US83 ($116.69) per kilogram throughout the December quarter, which it deemed ‘flat market pricing’.

“However costs improved in direction of the top of the quarter.”

“Market costs began to extend once more from December in anticipation of the late January Lunar New Yr holidays and an anticipated rebound of the consumption in China,” Lynas managing director Amanda Lacaze mentioned.

“Future pricing developments will depend upon China’s financial restoration.”

The 4th quarter of 2022 noticed a rise in gross sales income from $AUS164 million (Q3) from the manufacturing of 1359 tonnes to AUS$233 million with manufacturing at 1508 tonnes.

Lynas has a development plan concentrating on a 50% improve in NdPr manufacturing. Nonetheless, the market is rising quickly and the miner may need to be extra aggressive in its plans so as to fulfill demand. It’s at the moment concentrating on 10,500 tonnes by 2025.

“Funding in capability enlargement shall be required at each manufacturing stage,” Lacaze mentioned in August 2022. “This begins with growing feedstock availability, and this mission will considerably increase Mt Weld’s feedstock capability, concentrating on feedstock manufacturing capability of 12,000 tonnes each year NdPr equal in 2024.”

Australian mining firm Patriot Battery Metals is celebrating the outcomes of its latest pattern drilling operation at its Corvette Lithium mission in Canada to determine the focus of lithium oxide.

Ken Brinsden, non-executive chair of Patriot, was the managing director and chief govt of Pilbara Minerals. He was impressed by Corvette’s potential: “I’m winding down at Pilbara Minerals and taking a look on the Patriot geological maps … and pondering to myself, that is feeling loads like Pilgangoora in 2015, as a result of the geology on the Corvette discovery feels prefer it’s going to help one other massive mission over time,” he informed the Sources Rising Stars Summer time Collection in December. “It’s early levels in exploration however already there’s proof to point that it’s going to be one of many greater discoveries within the final decade or so,” he mentioned.

Brinsden performed a key position within the delineation and improvement of Pilbara Minerals Pilgangoora lithium operation within the Pilbara — one of many premier laborious rock lithium mines on the planet.

Manufacturing is up and so are lithium costs, main the Greenbushes lithium operation in Western Australia to publish a report quarterly efficiency.

Spodumene focus manufacturing went from 361,000 tonnes within the September quarter to 379,000 in This autumn 2022. “Manufacturing benefited from a brand new quarterly processing report, the place total throughput elevated 7 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 1.6 million tonnes of whole ore processed.”

Gross sales income was up 26% to AUS$2.3 billion. Realised spodumene costs are on the rise. Within the third quarter, Greenbushes spodumene was bought at US$3,729 per tonne, which elevated to US$3,984 per tonne within the December quarter. IGO expects the worth for spodumene focus bought throughout the March 2023 quarter to be US$5,957 per tonne. Observe the numerous improve from 2022.

“IGO Restricted is an ASX 100 listed firm centered on creating a greater planet for future generations by discovering, creating, and delivering merchandise vital to scrub power. As a objective led organisation with sturdy, embedded values and a tradition of caring for our folks and our stakeholders, we imagine we’re Making a Distinction by safely, sustainably and ethically, delivering the merchandise our clients must advance the worldwide transition to decarbonisation. 

“Greenbushes is enterprise a number of enlargement initiatives which IGO expects will improve the operation’s manufacturing profile from roughly 1.5 million tonnes each year (Mtpa) to roughly 2.5Mtpa over the subsequent 4 years.”

Australian mining is making a distinction by producing the minerals wanted for the transition to a greener future for us and our grandchildren.




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