Altura has announced that the first shipment from its 100 per cent-owned Altura lithium project in Pilgangoora, Western Australia, will be announced in the coming weeks. The first shipment of Altura’s spodumene concentrate shipped will be organised by offtake partner Lionergy, which plans to carry out conversion and verification testing at its lithium converison plant in Inner Mongolia, having estimated an initial delivery date between July and mid-August.
The project started crushing in May and has now filled 90 per cent of recruitment positions and the senior management team has been finalising elements such as product prices, cargos sizes and delivery schedules following time in China, clearing the way for shipping forecasts in 2018 and 2019.
Despite heavy rains that occurred in the region in the past four weeks, Altura has been able to “largely meet all its milestones” according to a company statement. The company has completed work on project ball mills, product storage facilities (located at Port Hedland), and has also commissioned the flotation circuit and energised the project’s power station.
Altura managing director James Brown commended his team, stating that all commissioning work had so far been executed safely and productively.
“We all understand that this process is exactly what our stakeholders expect, however the work involved should never be underestimates,” he said. “Our recent China visit continued to echo the strong demand for more lithium supply. We are also still receiving regular demand queries from other sources as the project comes on line.”
In late May, Altura extended the project’s mine life by two years following a revision of its mineral resource estimate, which currently stands at 41.1Mt at 1.05 per cent Li2O and 432,000t of contained Li2O.