Miner breathes life into deserted camp
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.