Tees Valley Lithium has hosted the UK Minister for the Indo-Pacific on a visit to the Australian port where it hopes to create a lithium sulphate refinery to feed its £200m North East facility.
The listed company met with Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan at Port Hedland on Australia’s West Coast, near where Tees Valley Lithium (TVL) plans to create a low carbon lithium sulphate refinery that will process minerals extracted in the country before being shipped to Teesside. Earlier this year TVL announced it had secured a 43-hectare freehold site at Boodaries Strategic Industrial Area, 12km south of Port Hedland.
The Port is the world’s largest bulk export port, with exports including iron ore, lithium and salt. Coinciding with the Minister’s visit, Tees Valley Lithium also met with Australian mining operators who it hopes to work with in processing spodumene – the raw material that contains small amounts of lithium.
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At the moment, mining firms ship large quantities of spodumene to processing plants in China but Tees Valley Lithium’s model will take primary lithium sulphate of between 30-50% lithium which streamlines the process. The firm’s Teesside operation will then convert to lithium hydroxide with plans to supply the battery industry, including via an early stage agreement with the buyers of the Britishvolt site, Recharge Industries.
Ms Trevelyan, who was in Australia to sign a UK-Australia pledge to secure future supplies of critical mineral and to meet Resources Minister Madeleine King in Perth, said: “Critical minerals will be a driving force in the world’s journey to net zero, and the UK and Australia are digging deep to futureproof supplies of the materials that power our phones, our cars, and uncountable other aspects of modern life. Australia’s unmatched production capacity, combined with the UK’s mineral trading and finance expertise, will boost global supplies, help protect supply chains from future shocks, and support thousands of skilled, high-paying jobs.”
Sam Quinn, director of Alkemy Capital Investments, the parent company of Tees Valley Lithium, said: “Tees Valley Lithium is offering Western Australian lithium miners the opportunity to diversify their revenue streams by processing spodumene at Boodarie into a primary lithium sulphate, refining into either a hydroxide or carbonate at Wilton in the UK, and sell a branded product into the European premium market.”
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