Pilbara Minerals’ first spodumene concentrate shipment from the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia has achieved impressive results following independent testing.
The 8800t-shipment left Port Hedland last week for delivery to offtake partners in north Asia.
The concentrate’s quality was verified by SGS Laboratories, an independent verifier hired to confirm payment conditions, delivering results of 6.256 per cent lithica and 0.724 per cent iron oxide.
The Pilgangoora project has made steady progress over the past six months, achieving its first concentrate production and direct shipping ore (DSO) delivery to China in June.
Initially, the company planned to achieve its first spodumene concentrate in August, but this eventually moved to early October.
At full capacity, Pilbara Minerals hopes to achieve 350,000t/y in stage one, before moving on to 5Mt/y in stage two.
The project’s mineral resource estimate stands at 226Mt at 1.27 per cent lithia, 116 parts per million (ppm) tantalite and 0.6 per cent iron oxide as of September 2018.
According to managing director and chief executive Ken Brinsden, the company hopes to become one of the top-three raw lithium producers in the world by 2020.