Lithium production for the March quarter was 68% higher than the previous quarter with 38,291 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of high-grade spodumene concentrate produced grading 6.1% lithium carbonate.
The company also achieved a monthly production record in March when 15,012 wmt was produced with a recovery of 70% of gross feed and 79% of net feed, after removal of unprocessed fines.
Managing director Mark Calderwood said: “It has been an excellent quarter as the mine continues to ramp-up concentrate production through increased throughput, improved grades and recovery.
“We are well on track to meet our guidance for the first half of 2019 of 65,000 to 80,000 wmt of lithium concentrate produced.”
During the March quarter, the company shipped a total of 44,305 dmt of concentrate, representing an almost 100% increase on the December 2018 quarter.
The shipments comprised regular sales to Jiangxi Bao Jiang Lithium Industrial Limited and a trial parcel to a new customer.
Tantalum pentoxide production of 34,380 pounds in the March quarter was in line with the December 2018 quarter production of 32,700 pounds.
Three shipments of contained tantalum pentoxide totalling 38,935 pounds were made during the March quarter.
Bald Hill produces a premium coarse concentrate with very low levels of iron, potassium, mica, moisture and less than 2% ultra-fines.
Calderwood said: “Bald Hill’s coarse spodumene concentrate is being recognised by the industry as a premium product due to its coarse size, low fines and very low level of iron and other deleterious elements.
“The company expects to select its preferred customers for the remaining offtake over the next few months.”
Spodumene from the Bald Hill project.
March 14, 2019, marked the first anniversary of lithium production at the mine, which is 50 kilometres southeast of Kambalda in the Eastern Goldfields region.
The mine is around 75 kilometres southeast of the Mt Marion lithium operation and about 350 kilometres by road from the Port of Esperance.