The Bald Hill Mine entered commercial lithium concentrate production in July 2018 and at time of publication has been placed under care and maintenance by the administrator appointed by Alliance Minerals Assets Limited.
Primero were engaged in early 2017 to design, construct and operate the DMS circuit at Bald Hill.
DESIGN | CONSTRUCT | OPERATE
Their timeline to production has already been billed as one of the swiftest in the history of mine development in Australia - Next Insight, Investment Publication
The Bald Hill project is located 50km southeast of Kambalda, Western Australia. The project originated as a tantalum mine operated by Haddington Resources Ltd at design rates of 200kt/y ore and 145,000lb/y tantalite concentrate from 2001 to 2005. During this period, 1.35Mt of ore was processed and 820,000lb of tantalite concentrate was produced. The mine ceased operation in 2005.
In 2015 the tantalite processing plant was recommissioned under ownership of Alliance Mineral Assets Ltd (AMAL). In 2016, Tawana Resources NL acquired a 50% interest in the project with an aim to discover and produce lithium spodumene concentrate in joint venture with AMAL.
Project implementation included development of an open pit spodumene ore mine, a dense medium separation (DMS) spodumene processing plant, tailings dam, waste rock dump, water infrastructure, non-process infrastructure, and a camp. Project implementation commenced in August 2017 and first concentrate was produced in March 2018, seven months after completion of the feasibility study and maiden reserve announcement.
Primero were engaged by the Tawana Resources and Alliance Mineral Assets Limited joint venture to complete the design, procurement, construction and operation of the DMS circuit at Bald Hill.
Priorities for the JV were to gain first mover advantage over their peers and capitalize on heightened demand for spodumene concentrate by fast-tracking the project’s development. Primero were able to deliver on promise in meeting the challenging schedule, reaching practical completion and first concentrate production in March 2018 – Just seven months from feasibility study and first ore reserve to completion of commissioning.
Two weeks after the production of first concentrate, Primero’s Operation & Maintenance team exceeded the nameplate production capacity of the plant and achieved an unprecedented 7% spodumene concentration. The initial results were achieved with low grade commissioning ore.
Primero continue to deliver in record time - Tony Dominkovic, Project Director, AMAL
From maiden resource to production of first concentrate in under 9 months… a massive effort from all involved - Mark Calderwood, Managing Director, AMAL