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A big year for lithium

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It was a significant quarter for Pilbara Minerals, which saw a leap in lithium sales and production.

The company reported a 10 per cent increase in the production of spodumene concentrate for the quarter, up to 162.8 thousand tonnes (kt). This brings the company’s financial year production to 620.1kt, an impressive 64 per cent increase on the previous financial year. This was largely driven by improvements in processing.

Sales increased 22 per cent to 176.4kt for the quarter, and 68 per cent on the previous financial year. Revenue dropped 18 per cent for the quarter thanks to a dip in the price of spodumene, but this was balanced by a total $4 billion in revenue for the financial year, representing an increase of 238 per cent on the previous year.

The company advanced the P680 and P1000 expansion projects at its Pilganoora lithium mine in WA.

The $560 million P1000 project includes an expanded concentrator plant with increased throughput, as well as supporting infrastructure. With the expansion, spodumene concentrate production capacity is expected to rise by 320,000 tonnes per annum (tpa).

The P1000 project will be executed alongside the ongoing P680 project, which aims to add an additional 100,000tpa capacity to Pilgangoora.

The combination of these two assets is expected to raise spodumene concentrate production from 580,000tpa to 1,000,000tpa.

During the quarter, the Pilbara Minerals began seeking expressions of interest from battery materials supply chain participants in relation to both spodumene supply and downstream partnerships related to the the P1000 project.

So far, 300kt of future annual spodumene concentrate production has been allocated in this initiative.

The project is expected to reach full production by September 2025.

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