Pilbara Minerals’ first spodumene shipment from Pilgangoora now imminent

Spodumene concentrate being loaded for shipment from Pilgangoora. Image: Pilbara Minerals

Pilbara Minerals has announced that it expects to ship its first spodumene concentrate from the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia this week.

The company is currently on track to deliver at least 5000t of spodumene concentrate (with a purity of over six per cent lithia and less than 1.4 per cent iron oxide) for shipping from Port Hedland on or around September 20.

In addition, the project has achieved its first delivery of tantalite concentrate to Chinese offtake partner Global Advanced Metals (GAM), which will use the tantalite primarily for the production of materials for capacitor manufacturers.

Pilbara Minerals released a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the second stage of the project last month, which helped raise the project’s capacity to 5Mt/y overall when the 2Mt/y Stage 1 facility is taken into account. The company is aiming for an eventual annual target of 800,000–850,000t/y of spodumene production.

According to Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Ken Brinsden, it is a milestone month for the company.

“The strong results now being achieved also reflect the significant investments we made, including our decision to invest upfront in both a coarse and fines processing circuit, as well as in high-quality equipment selection,” he said.

“Together this will help ensure that the Pilgangoora project becomes one of the lowest cost producers globally in the long term.”

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