Australian mineral exploration and development company Liontown Resources has selected Lycopodium Minerals to develop the Kathleen Valley lithium project.

Lycopodium has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) and commissioning services contract, worth around A$35m ($24m).

Under the contract, the company will provide the EPCM, pre-operational testing and commissioning services for the processing facilities and related non-process infrastructure at the Kathleen Valley project.

Lycopodium has previously conducted the Pre-feasibility Study (PFS), followed by Value Engineering Assessments (VEAs), at the project site.

In addition, the company has carried out subsequent Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) services.

Under the current contract, the company will manage the Kathleen Valley project through the EPCM delivery phase, with the first production expected in Q2 2024.

Lycopodium managing director Peter De Leo said: “Kathleen Valley is a lithium project of global significance that will supply vital battery minerals to the burgeoning electric vehicle and energy storage industries.

“As we move towards a renewable energy future, the award of this project further strengthens our position as a premier partner in the delivery of lithium projects, and we thank Liontown for the opportunity to partner with them on this important project.”

Kathleen Valley is considered as one of the world’s largest and highest-grade hard rock lithium deposits, and a Tier-1 battery metals asset.

It is located on the western edge of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt, around 60km north of Leinster, and 680km northeast of Perth, Western Australia.

With an initial production capacity of 2.5Mtpa, Kathleen Valley is expected to supply nearly 500,000 tonnes of 6% lithium oxide concentrate per annum.

The development works will enable direct access to higher grade mineralisation and minimising waste and the carbon footprint of the project.

The mined ore will be processed through a Whole of Ore Flotation circuit.

Furthermore, the deposit will also produce Tantalum Pentoxide, an essential material used in electronics and optics manufacturing applications, said Lycopodium.