Pil­gan­goora Stage 2 ap­proved

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - JES­SICA CUM­MINS

PILBARA Min­er­als has ap­proved a $231 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of its Pil­gan­goora lithium-tan­ta­lum project in the WA Pilbara

Sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval and fi­nanc­ing, the ex­pan­sion was set to grow pro­duc­tion to more than 800,000 tonnes per an­num, and in­crease pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity to 5 mil­lion tonnes per an­num (mtpa).

Fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of its De­fin­i­tive Fea­si­bil­ity Study in Au­gust, the com­pany con­firmed 100 per cent of the Stage 2 off­take would be sold to cus­tomers in­clud­ing POSCO, Gan­feng Lithium and Great Wall Mo­tor Com­pany.

Stage 2 works had be­gun, and the com­pany had al­ready placed long lead or­ders for ma­jor equip­ment to al­low it to meet its ob­jec­tive of com­mis­sion­ing from the De­cem­ber quar­ter 2019.

The ex­pan­sion in­cluded a new 3mtpa pro­cess­ing train and tan­ta­lite dress­ing fa­cil­ity, and up­grades to the power sta­tion and wa­ter sup­ply bore­fields to sup­port ex­panded oper­a­tions.

The com­pany con­tin­ued to progress fund­ing al­ter­na­tives in­clud­ing debt and/or off­take pre­pay­ment fund­ing from cus­tomers linked to ac­cess­ing Stage 2 prod­uct as well as other fi­nance struc­tures.

The bal­ance of the fi­nanc­ing was the sub­ject of con­tin­u­ing en­gage­ment with both bond­hold­ers for their con­sent and the off­take coun­ter­par­ties and was tar­geted to be fi­nalised dur­ing the cur­rent quar­ter.

The com­pany’s se­cond ship­ment of spo­dumene con­cen­trate de­parted Port Hed­land in the se­cond half of Oc­to­ber with 6.3 per cent lithium ox­ide on-board.

Pro­duc­tion from the Stage 1 Pil­gan­goora project con­tin­ued as planned, with the com­pany mak­ing good progress in the con­tin­ued ramp-up and op­ti­mi­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion.

Pilbara Min­er­als manag­ing direc­tor Ken Brins­den said the com­pany had es­tab­lished a track record of “get­ting things done”.

“Against a back­drop of sig­nif­i­cant de­mand growth for lithium raw ma­te­ri­als over the com­ing decade, the qual­ity and scale of the re­source at our Pil­gan­goora project de­mands fur­ther ex­pan­sion,” Mr Brins­den said

“This will en­sure it be­comes a main­stay in the next gen­er­a­tion of large-scale, low-cost mines to sup­port the sig­nif­i­cant growth in down­stream lithium hy­drox­ide ca­pac­ity.”

Image:Pil­baraMin­er­als.

Pilbara Min­er­als’ pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity was set to grow be­yond 800,000tpa of high-qual­ity spo­dumene con­cen­trate.

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