Wesfarmer stalls A$600 million lithium project
(Kitco News) - Bending to the poor lithium market fundamentals, Wesfamer said Thursday it is suspending development of its Mt Holland lithium project until next year.
The lithium market has been upset by low prices. This week the other Australian lithium producer, Galaxy Resources, cut production 60%.
Wesfarmers has a definitive feasibility study for Mt Holland. The company said it will now take its time to optimize the project: reducing capital costs, upgrading road and utility infrastructure and ensuring lithium it eventually produces has right chemistry for its customers.
Wesfarmers said it will make a final investment decision in 2021.
In a corporate presentation from 2019, Wesfarmers pegged the price to develop the project at A$600 million (US$409 million). The Mt Holland lithium project is a 50:50 joint venture with SQM.
Last year, Wesfarmers acquired the Mt. Holland stake from Kidman Resources for A$776 million (US$529 million).