The Mineral Resources Ltd [ASX:MIN] relayed a decision by the MARBL Lithium Joint Venture to restart operations at the Wodgina Lithium Mine, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The MARBL Lithium JV is an unincorporated joint venture owned 40/60 by MIN and lithium giant Albemarle.
Mineral Resources Ltd [ASX:MIN] share price is currently trading at $42.75 per share, up 8.56%.
Wodgina Lithium Mine to restart operations
MARBL expects the Wodgina mine, placed on care and maintenance in November 2019 due to weak global market conditions, to be restarted and safely produce spodumene concentrate during the third quarter of 2022.
Wodgina has installed processing capacity of 750,000tpa of spodumene concentrate.
The mine is serviced by its own 64MW gas-fired power plant, a 700-bed accommodation village, and an airfield capable of landing A320 aircraft.
MARBL will focus on restarting one of Wodgina’s three 250,000tpa processing lines. But when market demand is sufficient, additional processing lines may be recommenced.
According to the terms of the MARBL joint venture, MIN’s mining services business will provide crushing and camp services at Wodgina, while Albemarle will market 100% of the output from Wodgina.
Mineral Resources Managing Director, Chris Ellison, commented:
‘We are delighted that the MARBL JV has decided to restart Wodgina, a world-class lithium opportunity that MRL developed into a mine with world-class potential.
‘It was the correct decision in late 2019 to place Wodgina on care and maintenance though it never dented our confidence in lithium’s long-term positive demand fundamentals.
‘As we said at the time and repeat today, in Albemarle we have the best partner to deliver maximum and sustainable value from world-class assets like Wodgina.’
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MIN share price outlook
The significant jump in MIN’s share price highlights the strong current interest in the lithium industry.
MIN’s long-standing experience and crucial partnership with Albemarle will likely be attractive for investors prospecting for lithium stocks capable of supplying the upcoming EV boom.
MIN Managing Director, Chris Ellison, concluded:
‘Lithium is one of MRL’s two core commodities, alongside iron ore, and we have worked very hard over the past five years to establish long life operations for both.
‘Wodgina, along with our 50%-owned Mt Marion Lithium Project in WA’s Goldfields and the soon-to-be-completed 40%-owned Kemerton Hydroxide Facility, give MRL a world-class portfolio of highest-quality, long-life lithium assets in a Tier 1 mining jurisdiction.’
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