Pilbara Minerals pushes button for more production

Ngungaju

The Pilgangoora lithium operation.

The board of Western Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals has approved capital investment for its P680 Project, which will involve processing improvements made at the Pilgan Plant expected to deliver increased life-of-mine (LOM) spodumene concentrate production.

Ultimately, the annual production run rate from the Pilgangoora operation will be increased to about 640,000–680,000 dry metric tonnes from the December Quarter 2023, a 100,00O tonnes per annum increase.

This investment supports Pilbara Minerals’ long term growth strategy to incrementally increase production capacity at Pilgangoora in line with customer and market demand.

The P680 Project is expected to leverage existing infrastructure to achieve higher production volumes at reduced unit operating costs through the introduction of a new Heavy Media Separation (HMS) circuit.

It also see the introduction of ore sorting technology to the front-end of the Pilgan Plant, which is designed to reject basalt (and other non-lithium hosting materials) earlier in the production process.

Pilbara Minerals will self-manage delivery of the project to help mitigate cost and schedule overruns, with key long-lead procurement to be undertaken prior to the award of key construction contracts.

Production will support the chemical conversion facility currently under development in South Korea in joint venture with POSCO. In addition, the company continues to receive strong interest in longer-term spodumene concentrate supply contracts from both its existing customer base as well as from other industry participants.

Pilbara Minerals incoming managing director and chief executive officer, Dale Henderson, said the milestone reinforced the exceptional scale and quality of Pilgangoora, one of the few hard rock lithium production operations globally that has both the resource size and existing operating platform to enable a rapid scale-up of production to meet long-term requirements.

“From the outset, our long-term growth strategy has been to develop each stage with a focus on tailoring production to meet demand, while also planning for future expansion opportunities,” he said.

 

About Ray Chan

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).

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