Liontown Resources [ASX:LTR] announced the commencement of open-pit mining operations at its Kathleen Valley Lithium project.
Liontown’s share price was relatively flat on the news, with shareholders perhaps awaiting results once the open-pit mining is properly underway.
LTR’s shares have moved up 19% over the last month, starting 2023 on a strong note.
Over the course of the past year, the lithium stock has risen 14.5%, even as it lags against some of its more established peers:
LTR’s open-pit mining kicks off with a bang
Reporting from WA this morning, the company took a moment to share the news that the first blast fired successfully, signalling the exciting start of operations at the company’s flagship, the Kathleen Valley Lithium Project.
The news was passed through LTR’s mining services provider, Iron Mine Contracting, who already service open-pit mining at the Kathleen’s Corner, as well as the Mt Mann open pit.
Iron Mine’s duties include drilling and blasting, loading and hauling, taking care of road construction, maintenance, and pit dewatering services all under a Preliminary Works Agreement.
The contractors are awaiting the finalisation of a binding open-pit mining contact, though they have already won a further works contract for the construction of the Tailings Storage Facility.
Liontown’s CEO Tony Ottaviano said:
‘Completion of the first blast and commencement of open pit mining operations at Kathleen Valley is a significant milestone for Liontown, signifying our transition from explorer to mining operator. Achieving this milestone ahead of schedule is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Liontown and Iron Mining Contracting teams. We are excited to be working with the experienced team at Iron Mine Contracting.
‘We have every confidence in their ability to deliver results and look forward to partnering with them to bring our Kathleen Valley Lithium Project to life.’
The blast area is mostly made up of waste rock to be used as bulk fill for construction of the Run-of-Mine (ROM) pad, and ore contained within the blast will sheet the ROM pad once constructed.
Milestone complete…next up, first production and offtake partners
So far, everything has occurred exactly to schedule, which means plans for material generation and construction of the ROM pad and Tailings Storage Facility can also progress.
Combined with a ramp up of the process plant, first production is still set for mid-2024.
LTR said strong lithium market conditions provide an opportunity to monetise material not otherwise expected as DSO product, boosting revenue for both the pre- and post-commissioning phases.
Liontown knows the most import step now is to secure offtake partners, and is currently progressing its DSO opportunity with samples ready to present to customers.
Further announcements regarding DSO opportunity, optimisation work, and tenders are soon to come.
Australia’s place in the upcoming commodity boom
On the subject of lithium, our resources expert and trained geologist, James Cooper, thinks the Australian resources sector is set to enter a new commodities boom brought on by the ‘Age of Scarcity’.
Similar patterns that occurred 20 years ago are happening again.
James is convinced ‘the gears are in motion for another multi-year boom in commodities’.
A boom where Australia (and ASX stocks) stands to benefit…
The next big mining boom is predicted to happen in the next few years.
The same investors that got rich last time are preparing to make their move. Don’t let them take the monopoly again!
You can learn from James’s experiences AND access an exclusive video on his personalised ‘attack plan’ right here.
If that isn’t enough to sate your curiosity, check out last year’s ausbiz interview with James and Greg for more on the matter.
For The Daily Reckoning Australia