- Tawana has a 50% interest in the Bald Hill Lithium and Tantalum Mine, WA.
- The Bald Hill Mine comprises: four mining leases, 16 exploration/prospecting licences and five applications totalling 791.3km2, excellent existing infrastructure including an operating tantalum plant, camp and machinery and is permitted for operation.
- Bald Hill has a maiden Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 12.8Mt at 1.18% Li2O and 158ppm Ta2O5 at a 0.5% Li2O cut-off (high grade)
- A Pre-Feasibility Study released in July 2017 confirmed the technical and financial viability of a 1.2Mtpa lithium Dense Media Separation circuit adjacent to the existing tantalum processing facility
- Lithium concentrate offtake agreement signed with Hong Kong-listed Burwill Holdings Ltd, with $12.5m prepayment received to enable capital and operational works at Bald Hill
- Construction of 1.2Mtpa Dense Media Separation (DMS) process plant and associated infrastructure commenced August 2017
- Tawana is targeting first shipment of lithium concentrate from Bald Hill in 1Q 2018.
The Bald Hill Mine is co-owned by Singapore Exchange-listed Alliance Mineral Assets Limited (AMAL) and Tawana with each holding a 50% interest in minerals, processing plant and infrastructure at the project.
The Bald Hill project area has traditionally been explored and mined for tantalum and tin at the Bald Hill and St John prospects. From July 2001 to December 2005, Haddington Resources Limited undertook shallow open-pit pegmatite mining, processing 1.35Mt of ore through a 340,000tpa gravity plant which produced 364t tantalum pentoxide for sale. During mining, it was noted that the pegmatite ore contained varying amounts of spodumene (up to 50%), though lithium was not assayed for or recovered until this was again noted by the plant’s new owner Alliance Mineral Assets Limited (“AMAL”) in 2015.
Beneficiation processes undertaken as part of AMAL’s refurbishment, upgrade and recommissioning of the plant in 2015-16 produced non-magnetic -1mm concentrates containing high levels of lithium in the form of spodumene. The +500µm lithium concentrate totalling 5.9 tonnes averaged 6.73% Li2O and the 250-500µm lithium concentrate totalling 3.5 tonnes averaged 5.75% Li2O.
Tawana’s review of extensive exploration data, as well as metallurgical testwork, provided encouraging early results. Analysis of material crushed to 6.3mm resulted in 93.3% of contained lithium and 86.3% of tantalum reporting to +250µm fractions.
Tawana commenced engineering studies to assess the installation of a 1Mtpa front-end spodumene recovery circuit to the plant.
A maiden Indicated and Inferred lithium Mineral Resource estimated by CSA Global Pty Ltd for the deposit in June 2017 included a high-grade component of 12.8 million tonnes at 1.18% Li2O and 158ppm Ta2O5 at a 0.5% Li2O cut-off.
The company has signed an offtake agreement with a subsidiary of Burwill Holdings Ltd.
Tawana expects to achieve its first shipment of lithium concentrate in 1Q 2018.