Altura Mining is closing in on its capacity target of 220,000 tonnes per year at its flagship lithium project at Pilgangoora, Western Australia.
The company has previously had problems meeting this target but today announced a $28 million raising for investors to provide a”final push” towards its goal.
Modifications to the processing plant’s ball mill, tailings thickener and primary crusher have all contributed to significant downtime since Altura launched its operations last year.
The company made its maiden spodumene concentrate shipment of 5000 tonnes in October last year from Port Hedland and has since concentrated on increasing its nameplate production.
Altura managing director James Brown said he was confident that the company was close to achieving steady-state production and that nameplate capacity should be accomplished “over the coming months”.
“This capital raising provides working capital strength for the final push in the ramp-up phase,” said Brown. “The most recent modifications we’ve made to the plant have had a significant impact on performance and we are now consistently achieving approximately 70 per cent of nameplate production capacity.”
Altura’s placement is for just over 184 million new shares at a price of 13 cents per share, an 18 per cent discount to Altura’s 30-day weighted average price of 15.9 cents per share, for $23 million.
In addition, the company is offering a securities purchase plan (SPP) under the same conditions as the placement to raise a further $5 million.
Altura also completed a stage two definitive feasibility study (DFS) to double the project’s nameplate capacity to 440,000 tonnes in April last year, for which the company has received an additional $US15 million ($21 million) so far.