Pilbara Minerals has expanded its offtake agreement with Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry for spodumene concentrate produced at the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum operation in Western Australia.
Yibin Tianyi has committed to prepay the offtake in the amount of $US15 million (19.36 million), which will contribute to stage one improvement works at the Pilgangoora operation.
Pilbara Minerals aims to provide a further 40,000 tonnes a year of spodumene product following the commissioning of the improvement works.
This is expected to occur in the September quarter and increase production capacity at plant one by around 30,000-50,000 tonnes a year.
Yibin Tianyi, a Chinese supplier of lithium and battery materials, signed a five-year offtake agreement with Pilbara Minerals in March last year for 75,000 tonnes a year of spodumene concentrate from the Pilgangoora project.
Pilbara minerals managing director and chief executive Ken Brinsden said the relationship between his company and the Chinese supplier continued to improve.
“Our relationship continues to grow with Yibin Tianyi as we work together in support of both our businesses’ growth ambitions,” Brinsden said.
“For Yibin Tianyi, to become one of the biggest lithium chemical suppliers in China with the support of our major shareholder, CATL and for us to become one of the largest, lowest cost lithium raw material suppliers in the world.”
Pilbara Minerals expects shipments will occur around early 2022 to satisfy the offtake agreement.
The improvement works at Pilgangoora will be undertaken by a joint venture between SIMPEC and IronMerge, the latter of which is owned by Pilbara Minerals’ native title partner, Njamal.
Brinsden said he was looking forward to working with the companies.
“We are also extremely proud to welcome SIMPEC and IronMerge to Pilgangoora to execute these improvement works,” Brinsden said. This joint venture is a demonstration of companies working together to support Aboriginal business enterprises to grow and create opportunities for local people.”