Ebene News – UA – Wesfarmers to move forward with billion dollar lithium mine

Perth industrial and retail conglomerate Wesfarmers has announced that it will move forward with an investment of nearly $ 1 billion to build a lithium mine in the Western Australian region of Mount Holland

Wesfarmers told investors after the market closed on Wednesday evening that it has made the final decision to proceed with the investment in the mine and its associated refinery in Kwinana, which it is building through a joint deal with the company Chilean chemical Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM)

The two companies’ joint venture, Covalent Lithium, has completed a new feasibility study on the mine, determining its annual production capacity of 50,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium, an increase of 5,000 tonnes over the capacity of initially planned production

Wesfarmers and SQM are currently in the process of obtaining all necessary approvals for the project, although final approval is required from the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority

If approval is granted, Wesfarmers will begin construction by the end of the year The first production of lithium hydroxide, a substance mainly used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, is expected in the second half of this year. fiscal year 2024

Wesfarmers will spend around $ 950 million on the project, which will be funded from the company’s existing credit facilities and cash reserves, which have reached increased levels since the business split in 2018 from Coles supermarkets

“The development of the Mt Holland lithium project presents an attractive investment for Wesfarmers shareholders,” said managing director Rob Scott

“The project leverages the expertise of our chemicals, energy and fertilizer divisions in chemical processing and Western Australia’s unique position to meet growing global demand for materials for electric vehicle batteries, which will play a crucial role in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”

Wesfarmers initially acquired the stake in the Mt Holland mine through its 2019 acquisition of miner Kidman Resources, but put the final investment decision on hold in January of last year to explore ways to optimize and further refine the project

The announcement comes on the eve of Wesfarmers’ half-year earnings, where the company is expected to report six months of strong sales growth and net income of around $ 1.2 billion from the performance of its Bunnings business assets, Officeworks and Kmart

Wesfarmers, Sociedad Química y Minera, Lithium, Mount Holland, Conglomérat

Ebene News – UA – Wesfarmers to move forward with billion dollar lithium mine

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/wesfarmers-to-forge-ahead-with-billion-dollar-lithium-mine-20210217-p573h1.html