Altura Mining has steadily increased production at its Pilgangoora lithium mine in Western Australia following commissioning of the site during the March quarter.
The company improved the performance of the Pilgangoora process plant during the period to consistently deliver around 14,000 tonnes of spodumene production each month, with weekly periods closing in on nameplate targets.
Altura also reported a 15 per cent increase in ore mined during the March quarter to 404,000 tonnes on the December 2018 quarter.
The continued increases and stability in daily production volumes ultimately enabled Altura to declare commercial production at the flagship lithium project by mid-March.
Mining targets were also achieved for the quarter despite the time lost to Tropical Cyclone Veronica, leading to disruptions in late March and a loss of around 2750 tonnes of production.
Altura shipped two cargoes totalling 14,770 dry metric tonnes to Chinese-based converters, with a third cargo of around 8000 dry metric tonnes loaded in the first week of April after delays at the port.
The company also continued to undertake exploration activities at the Cleopatra and Hazelby prospects around 3.5 and four kilometres southeast of its lithium mine, respectively.
Altura raised a combined total of $38.5 million during the March quarter, which is being used for the commissioning and ramp-up costs associated with the production and sale of lithium concentrate.
It has plans to progress the flagship lithium mine towards a stage two expansion to double capacity to 440,000 tonnes a year in the first half of 2020.