Altura Mining is on the verge of shipping its maiden cargo of spodumene concentrate from the Pilgangoora lithium project in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
The company has commenced loading of concentrate onto the vessel MV Clipper Tenacious at Port Hedland, a process that is estimated to be completed in less than 20 hours.
Altura’s first shipment of 5000 dry metric tonnes has been purchased by off-take partner Lionergy and is destined for China.
The final product testing of the cargo is ongoing, however, Altura reported that the processing plant has been consistently delivering above-specification spodumene concentrate of more than 6 per cent Li2O and less than 1.05 per cent Fe2O3.
Altura managing director James Brown said it took a lot of hard work for the company to achieve producer status in just over 18 months.
“We are especially pleased with the above-specification quality of spodumene concentrate that has been produced for this maiden cargo which is a testament to the performance of the processing plant,” Brown said.
“However, the hard work does not stop here. We remain focused on the continued ramp up of stage one production to nameplate capacity over the coming months.
“Meanwhile, we continue to field enquiries from potential offtake partners and are seeing strong demand from North Asia.”
Altura is working towards producing 220,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate from the stage one operation.
The company has completed a definitive feasibility study on a stage two expansion to 440,000 tonnes per annum. It plans to make a final investment decision on the expansion this year.
Altura’s neighbour, Pilbara Minerals, also loaded and shipped its maiden cargo of spodumene concentrate from Pilgangoora this week.
Pilbara Minerals shipped 8800 wet metric tonnes from Port Hedland, a cargo also headed for north Asia.