First Pilbara Minerals shipment bound for Asia

Loading of the first shipment. Image: Pilbara Minerals.

Pilbara Minerals is celebrating the first shipment of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia leaving Port Hedland.

The 8800 wet metric tonne shipment, which departed from the Pilbara port yesterday, will travel to the company’s offtake partners in north Asia.

It has grading of approximately 6.1 per cent lithia and 1.2 per cent Fe2O3.

Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive Ken Brinsden said the departure of the first-ever concentrate shipment from Pilgangoora represented a huge moment in the company’s history.

The company delivered the project, from first drill hole to first product on ship, within four years.

“This marks the start of regular product shipments as we continue to ramp-up stage one to nameplate capacity and work towards a final investment decision on the stage two, 5 million tonne per annum,” Brinsden said.

“With strong support from our offtake partners and financiers, this expansion will position Pilbara Minerals to become one of the top-three lithium raw materials producers in the world by 2020.”

Pilbara Minerals produced its first concentrate at Pilgangoora in June. It is ramping up stage one of the operation to produce 350,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate at full capacity.