Pilgangoora Stage 2 approved
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.”
Pilbara Minerals’ production capacity was set to grow beyond 800,000tpa of high-quality spodumene concentrate.