The $516 million Talison Lithium mine expansion has been put on hold, just one week after the project received the green light from Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
The pause in stage three of the expansion is a reflection of the market for lithium, which has not picked up as quickly as expected.
A Talison Lithium spokesman said the pause allowed shareholders to review the timing of construction and the need for additional volumes of spodumene concentrate, which is a source of lithium.
“Talison Lithium, the world’s largest producer, achieved practical completion of our CGP2 expansion project, which boosts the production capacity at Greenbushes to 1.34 million tonnes per annum,” he said.
“CGP3 construction activities are currently paused as Talison’s shareholders review the timing of construction and the need for additional volumes of spodumene concentrate to align with the converting capacity additions of the shareholders.”
Although temporarily on hold, the spokesman said gaining Federal Government approval for the expansion was still under way.
“We continue to work on receiving Federal Government approval, with a decision expected by the fourth quarter of 2019,” he said.
“The granting of State Government approval is a testament to Talison’s proven commitment to safely and responsibly operate a mine in the South West.
“The pause in the project has allowed employees at the mine to keep their jobs.
“Greenbushes remains a profitable and world-class hard rock lithium mine with a long and proud history of operating safely and supporting the South West communities in which we operate.”