Mineral Resources (MinRes) has announced it intends to develop its Lake Jonhston site as a lithium processing hub in the southern Goldfields region with a Binding Heads of Agreement subject to conditions with Poseidon Nickel.

MinRes says the acquisition aligns with its strategy to process fines from the company’s Bald Hill and Mt Marion lithium operations, new discoveries made by MinRes in the region and third-party ore in exchange for project equity.

Lake Johnston is a nickel concentrator plant with a flotation circuit that has front-end capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum and is capable of being converted to treat lithium ores, including dense media separation fines.

The asset is licensed to operate to 2041 and has an active groundwater extraction licence. 

Onsite infrastructure includes an airstrip, 200-person camp, electrical infrastructure, workshops and laboratories. 

Internal studies by MinRes indicated repurposing a brownfields site would reduce the approvals timelines by circa two years compared to a greenfields development, in addition to capital savings.

Located approximately 185km southwest of Kalgoorlie, the acquired tenure covers 86km2 with one exploration licence and ten mining leases. MinRes will own the tenure outright, including all mineral rights.

MinRes will pay $1 million on execution of the Binding Heads of Agreement, $6.5 million on completion of the Sale and Purchase Agreement and $7.5 million 12 months after completion.

The transaction is conditional upon satisfaction of conditions precedent, being completion of legal due diligence of the sale assets to the reasonable satisfaction of MinRes, the assignment of third party agreements on terms acceptable to MinRes and the consent of the Minister for Mines and Petroleum being obtained under the Mining Act for the transfer of all the rights and obligations in respect of the tenements. 

MinRes’s Managing Director, Chris Ellison, said, “This is an exciting opportunity to develop MinRes’ third lithium processing hub in the Goldfields and the first to include flotation capacity to treat fines.

“We intend to bring our expertise in spodumene production to Lake Johnston, which has the potential to service projects throughout the world’s most prospective region for lithium.”

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