Altura acquisition shows promise for Pilbara Minerals

pilbara minerals

The Pilgangoora operation. Image: Pilbara Minerals

Pilbara Minerals has taken over Altura Mining with the prospect of improving market conditions for lithium and encouraging production at the acquired company’s operations.

Lithium has seen stronger demand from increased electronic vehicle (EV) production and other clean energy technologies.

Altura today released its September 2020 quarterly activities report, which outlined the company’s confidence in the commodity ahead of the acquisition.

Altura produced almost 45,000 wet metric tonnes of lithium concentrate in the September quarter at its Western Australian operations, Altura was acquired by Pilbara for $201 million.

The acquisition gave Pilbara 100 per cent ownership of the neighbouring Altura project, including the Pilgangoora project in Western Australia.

Pilbara has since placed the Altura project on care and maintenance.

Altura’s September quarter results indicated Pilbara will be a major beneficiary of the deal, as  more than $18 million worth of ore was mined by Altura over the quarter.

In the September 2020 quarter, Altura’s shipped over 50,000 wet metric tonnes  to long term offtake partners with an average ore grade of 1.18 per cent lithium oxide.

Altura’s treatment plant averaged a throughout rate of 191 dry metric tonnes per hour (dmh/h), only marginally below nameplate capacity of 193dmh/h.

The Altura project also maintained 100 per cent compliance with environmental values over the September quarter.

Speaking on the acquisition of the Altura project, Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Ken Brinsden said the deal was a major milestone.

“This is a historic day in Pilbara Minerals’ relatively short history as a lithium producer and marks an important moment, not just for our shareholders, but also for the lithium industry in Australia,” he said.

“The well-timed and cost-effective acquisition of our neighbouring operation is one of the most compelling transactions seen in the lithium sector in recent times.”

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