Pilbara Minerals has received the first of two key environmental approvals for its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia, bringing the operations closer to construction.
The company received a permit to clear native vegetation under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), subject to particular terms, conditions and restrictions. It is also subject to receiving other environmental approvals.
Pilbara Minerals is also progressing its mining proposal with the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), another major environmental approval needed before on site works can begin.
Final approval for the mining proposal is expected in the “near term”.
Pilbara Minerals managing director and CEO, Ken Brinsden, said the company was in the final stage of the environmental approvals process and once the mining proposal is approved, it will make way for full scale construction at the Pilgangoora site.
“In an industry where the development of major new resource projects is often measured in decades rather than years, Pilbara has achieved an enormous amount in a very short time,” he said.
“In the space of 12 months, we have advanced and de-risked the project through resource drill-out, feasibility and now with environmental approvals nearing completion.”
Pilbara Minerals also secured a native title agreement for the project in December last year.
Brinsden added that the company looked forward to delivering its first product in early 2018.