Expert agrees lithium a 'huge opportunity' for Australia

HAVING been in the lithium sector for more than 20 years during which time he was credited with developing the chemical spodumene trade between Australia and China means there are few as well qualified to speak on the sector as Neometals’ Mike Tamlin.

Expert agrees lithium a 'huge opportunity' for Australia Expert agrees lithium a 'huge opportunity' for Australia Expert agrees lithium a 'huge opportunity' for Australia Expert agrees lithium a 'huge opportunity' for Australia Expert agrees lithium a 'huge opportunity' for Australia

Neometals chief operating officer Mike Tamlim

The current COO of Neometals - who is understood to be the heir apparent to the top job when a likely demerger of the company's vanadium business takes place (with current MD Chris Reed overseeing the spin-out) - sees Australia having a huge opportunity on account of its pegmatites and the security of supply it can offer.

He suspects Western Australia and indeed Australia's pegmatite prospectivity has barely been scratched, and suggests the country could ultimately host a lithium sector that's a bit like the oil industry.

Tamlin's seen the annual global market go from around 30,000-40,000 tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent when he was at Greenbushes in the 1990s to now around 200,000t - with some forecasting it's on its way to 1 million tonnes.

Neometals want...