Altura secures $US110m to advance development of Pilgangoora lithium prospect

Image: Altura Mining

Lithium hopeful Altura Mining has locked in an agreement with United States and Swiss-based investment groups to raise $US110 million ($137.9 million) to fund development of the Pilgangoora project in Western Australia.

Earthworks and construction at the Pilbara-based project were launched in March this year. Altura said the funds secured would be used for completion of construction, commissioning and to start production and sales.

The loan note subscription agreement, with Magy LLC, Pala Investments and CarVal Investors, will be provided in two tranches – the first ($US33 million) to be received on August 4 and the second ($US77 million) on or before September 27.

Altura has rapidly progressed development of Pilgangoora over the past year as it races to become the next Australian lithium producer.

The company last month announced a five-year off-take agreement for a minimum 200,000 tonnes a year of spodumene from the mine.

Altura awarded NRW Holdings a $110 million contract for mine development and drill and blast services at Pilgangoora in February.

Three months later, Civmec secured a contract to construct the civil component of the project’s process plant.

“The project has an extensive mine life and forecasts exceptional returns delivered via substantial off-take partnerships, low cost operations and product pricing,” Altura said in an ASX announcement.

“Pilgangoora is set to become a globally significant lithium product delivery contributor in a buoyant market with attractive compounding annual growth rates and expanding product use applications.”

The company plans to launch sales of spodumene concentrate in early 2018.