Altura locks in $26m to fund Pilgangoora lithium expansion

Lithium developer Altura Mining will raise $26 million through a share placement to help accelerate its expansion plans at the Pilgangoora project in Western Australia.

The company plans to use the funds to rapidly progress a stage two expansion study at Pilgangoora. It also expects to use the funds for exploration at the project and for general working purposes.

Altura said it remained on track with construction of stage one for first lithium sales from Pilgangoora in the June quarter of 2018.

Managing director James Brown said the placement had attracted international investors who were interested in how advanced the project already was and how it could be expanded to meet growing global demand for lithium.

“Construction of the project is already more than 50 per cent complete and is fully funded following the recent finalisation of the $US110 million senior secured debt facility,” Brown said.

“We are only months away from first production and now investors see considerable upside in advancing our stage two expansion study in order to capitalise on this opportunity.”

Altura’s proposed expansion aims to increase production from the start-up capacity of 220,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate a year to 450,000 tonnes a year.

The study will look at the engineering design for additional process plant modules to deliver the increased production tonnage.

Brown said the expansion was attractive and straightforward because increased mining volumes could be accommodated for with the addition of a second mining shift.

“There would be no need to increase the accommodation village capacity or ancillary infrastructure to facilitate stage two,” Brown added.

The placement involves Altura issuing 136.8 million shares at 19 cents each.

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