Liontown Resources has awarded a contract to Qube Holdings, a provider of integrated logistics solutions, for spodumene and DSO haulage at the Kathleen Valley lithium project.

The Australian battery mineral producer said that the five-year contract, worth around A$175m ($118m) has been awarded to Qube, following an extensive tender process.

Under the contract, Qube will provide services including loading spodumene concentrate, and haulage of the concentrate to the Port of Geraldton.

It also includes storage and stockpile management within the port of Geraldton and the outload to port infrastructure for shipment to Liontown customers.

The works under the contract is expected to commence in mid-2024, consistent with process plant ramp-up.

Liontown managing director and CEO Tony Ottaviano said: “We look forward to working with Qube on the haulage and storage of our spodumene concentrate and DSO material from Kathleen Valley as well as benefiting from their expertise in the industry, especially with their extensive experience managing spodumene for others.

“This contract coupled with the Underground Mining Services (due this quarter) represents one of the last few outstanding contracts to be awarded as we progress Kathleen Valley towards first production mid-2024.”

Qube is an Australia-based integrated provider of import and export logistics services with operations in over 160 locations across Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia.

The company intends to use ultra-Quad road-trains to truck all concentrate from Kathleen Valley to the dedicated storage facility at the Port of Geraldton for the duration of the contract.

It will also use its continual fleet monitoring centre in Perth to manage safety and environmental outcomes.

The contract includes provision for delivering the services earlier for direct shipping ore (DSO) as Liontown nears completion of offtake and processing options.

With the sale and shipping of DSO, Liontown will generate early revenue and trial the haulage logistics chain with lower-grade material before achieving first production in mid-2024.