Pilbara Minerals secures final approval for Pilgangoora expansion

The Pilgangoora site. Image: Pilbara Minerals

Pilbara Minerals has secured final work approvals for the completion and operation of its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia.

This final environmental approval, administered by the Department of Water and Energy Regulation (DWER), follows earlier approvals in May that locked down Pilbara’s development of the project.

The site’s power station is to be constructed by Australian company Contact Power Group, and Pilbara aims to commence production by the second quarter of 2018.

In September, drill company MACA made a deal with Pilbara to supply drilling equipment for the project. The main focus in stage 1 will be spodumene delivery, with an expected yield of 2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) and plans in place for a stage 2 expansion to 5Mtpa.

“With site construction activities at Pilgangoora now in full swing, the project fully permitted for the completion of construction, a portfolio of Tier-1 off-take and strategic partners in place both for Stage 1 and Stage 2,” says managing director and chief executive of Pilbara, Ken Brinsden.

“The stage is set for the commencement of mining operations, this is an exciting time for Pilbara Minerals as we close in on our objective of becoming one of the world’s next significant lithium producers.”

Pilbara recently made a lithium procurement deal with major Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall, who placed a $28 million, 3 per cent ownership stake in Pilbara in return for a 150,000 tonne delivery of spodumene concentrate (primarily for use in electric vehicles).