Kidman Resources announced on-Monday that it has been successful in overturning forfeiture applications that threatened to stop its Mt Holland lithium project in WA. The joint venture between Kidman Resources and South American giant SQM was put under fire earlier this year when Phoenix Rise and Jeffrey Hull objected Kidman’s application for an exemption on minimum spending obligations on 13 tenements critical to the project.
The project was left on shaky grounds in September this year after the WA Wardens Court agreed that the Western Australian Government should reject Kidman’s exemption application, despite agreements in place with SQM and Tesla.
Kidman hit back at the warden’s decision, stating the decision could have a severe impact on Western Australia’s reputation as a reliable mining jurisdiction,with many experts warning that a decision against Kidman would hinder the state’s plans on becoming a lithium hub.
The head of SQM, Patricio de Solminihac also commented on the issue, stating”SQM and Kidman consider that the development of the Mt Holland mine and concentrator and Kwinana refinery is clearly in the interests of WA and believe that the decision on the exemption will be positive to continue to develop the project as planned.”
Monday’s settlement announcements initiate a number of project milestone payments from SQM, totaling $US85 million with the split of $US25 million to Kidman’s and the remainder to the joint venture – Covalent Lithium. Covalent has selected a site at Kwinana, for a 45,000 tonne-a-year lithium hydroxide plant which is located in close proximity to Tianqi’s processing facility currently under construction.