Miner breathes life into de­serted camp

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

Pil­bara Min­er­als will buy a work­ers’ camp in the Pil­bara left aban­doned af­ter the com­ple­tion of the Roy Hill iron ore pro­ject.

The as­pir­ing lithium miner did not re­veal the price of the pur­chase but said it was con­sid­er­ably cheaper than hav­ing to build a new vil­lage for work­ers at its pro­posed Pil­gan­goora lithium-tan­ta­lum pro­ject near Port Hed­land.

The Roy Hill Rail Camp 3, which is about 90km south of Pil­gan­goora, will be re­lo­cated to the pro­ject site in two stages.

The 300-per­son camp comes with mod­ern ameni­ties in­clud­ing a gym, re­cre­ation and wet mess. PLS said the pur­chase would en­able it to rapidly deploy work­ers for early site­works at Pil­gan­goora.

It said the camp re­lo­ca­tion was part of a scope of work soon to be is­sued to se­lected con­trac­tors.

“The re­lo­ca­tion will com­mence as soon as rea­son­ably prac­ti­cal with the ob­jec­tive of hav­ing the camp fully com­mis­sioned by the end of April 2017,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

“This is a pos­i­tive mile­stone for the Pil­gan­goora pro­ject and marks an­other step to­wards the devel­op­ment of one of the more sig­nif­i­cant new re­source pro­jects in WA.”

PLS de­scribes Pil­gan­goora as the sec­ond largest spo­dumene (lithium alu­minium sil­i­cate) pro­ject in the world and one of the largest peg­matite-hosted tan­ta­lite re­sources in the world.

It hosts proved and prob­a­ble ore re­serves of 69.8 mil­lion tonnes grad­ing 1.26 per cent lithium ox­ide and 132 parts per mil­lion tan­ta­lum pen­tox­ide.

PLS is in the process of se­cur­ing pro­ject fi­nanc­ing for Pil­gan­goora and it has al­ready be­gun or­der­ing long lead items.

The com­pany hopes to be­gin con­struc­tion be­fore the end of the year, with com­mis­sion­ing tar­geted for the fourth quar­ter of cal­en­dar 2017.

Lithium is used in bat­ter­ies as a power source while tan­ta­lum is used in con­sumer elec­tron­ics.

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