Altura Mining has announced it is in the critical plant commissioning phase of its Pilbara lithium project, with a stage two definitive feasibility study (target: 400,000 tonnes per annum) on course for completion in April 2018.
Progress is such that Altura is on track to meet its second quarter 2018 target for first lithium concentrate (Q1 for commissioning); steel fabrication is now completed, 50 per cent of conveyors are in place, electrical works have commenced and the installation of high-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) is now finished.
Altura is not making use of external contractors on the project, instead making use of an owner-operator model for production at its processing plant.
The board at Altura took this decision in order to maintain tighter control of intellectual property and recruitment of its own specialists — vacancies for the project’s processing manager, processing superintendent and maintenance superintendent roles have now been filled.
James Brown, Altura’s managing director, said the operations team had risen to the challenge of an aggressive timetable, especially given recent weather issues.
“It is a testament to the hard work of the entire team that we now have the commissioning phase clearly in sight and taking this project to near-term production from a greenfields site,” he said.
“This has been especially pleasing given some of the recent weather events in the Pilbara, where we only experienced minor delays and, importantly, no damage.”