Pilbara Minerals CEO expects acceleration in lithium recovery

The Altura lithium mine showing processing plant and product stockpiles. Image: Altura Mining

Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive Ken Brinsden has noted a quick recovery in the lithium raw material supply chain, underpinning the company’s production increase.

Brinsden said the spodumene prices had improved as lithium raw material markets were “clearly in an upward trend”.

According to Brinsden, the company’s acquisition of the Altura project in Western Australia has expanded production capacity, making Pilbara Minerals the largest, independent hard-rock lithium producer globally.

“Further, we are fielding more supply enquiries by the day, implying Pilbara Minerals is well placed with both low-cost operations and near-term expansion capacity to capitalise on this part of the cycle,” he said.

Pilbara Minerals plans to evaluate its integration strategy of the Altura project in the next four to six months.

This is aimed to optimise the company’s operations and increase output.

During the second half of last year, Pilbara Minerals drove down its operating costs off the back of improved plant performance and utilisation rates.

Its unit cash operating cost was $US352 ($487) per dry metric tonne cost insurance and freight (CIF) China.

The company also shipped 114,239 dry metric tonnes of spodumene concentrate, up from 53,222 dry metric tonnes in the prior corresponding period.

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