Pilbara Minerals has started commissioning of the concentrator at the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
The company is scheduled to reach first production from the stage one, 2Mt/y Pilgangoora operation this month, and remains on track to achieve this target.
Pilgangoora’s concentrator is now nearing completion following an intensive period of investment by Pilbara Minerals and construction activity by contractor RCR Tomlinson.
Pilbara Minerals’ key concentrator commissioning activities currently include equipment energisation, water pump and instrumentation, as well as other no-load activities.
The company will introduce first ore to Pilgangoora’s fines production concentrate circuit, with the coarse production circuit to follow in the coming weeks.
Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive Ken Brinsden said the company was on the cusp of becoming a lithium raw materials producer.
“In the face of three major cyclones during the construction period, RCR and their subcontractors have put in an absolutely huge effort for the rapid build to deliver an outstanding processing facility right on time,” Brinsden said.
“It’s a quality build, includes excellent equipment selection and has all of the right components to maximise product quality and spodumene recovery.”
The timing of the first fines concentrate to be generated during commission remains on track to occur before the end of June, Pilbara Minerals added.