June 25 (Reuters) - Tantalum producer Global Advanced Metals (GAM) said on Monday trial dates have been set to determine whether Talison Lithium’s expansion of Western Australia’s Greenbushes mine should be injuncted so there is no infringement on GAM’s mining rights.
The trial dates of Oct. 16-31, 2018, were set by the WA Supreme Court and were further to an injunction action launched by GAM in July 2017 over its mining deal with Talison, the company said in a statement.
Units of global lithium miners Tianqi Lithium Industries Inc and U.S.-based Albemarle Corp hold 51 percent and 49 percent of Talison, respectively.
“The nature of the orebody at Greenbushes is such that the proposed expansion of lithium mining and processing in its current form will irreparably sterilise tantalum owned by GAM,” GAM Chief Executive Officer Andrew O’Donovan said in the statement.
GAM processes tantalum extracted as a by-product of lithium production at the Greenbushes mine and then ships it to its downstream facilities in the United States and Japan.
A representative for Talison Lithium was not immediately able to answer a phone call for comment.
Tantalum is primarily used in the production of capacitors and some high-power resistors. (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in BENGALURU; Editing by Tom Hogue)