Construction and power distribution largely complete allowing commissioning to begin and putting Pilbara on track to achieve first concentrate production by the end of June
Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX: PLS) (“Pilbara Minerals” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise that commissioning of the Concentrator has commenced at its flagship 100%-owned Pilgangoora Lithium- Tantalum Project in WA.
The Pilgangoora Concentrator provides for the recovery of spodumene (containing lithia) and tantalite minerals. After a period of intensive investment by Pilbara Minerals and construction activity by its contracting partners (in
particular RCR Resources), the Concentrator facility is nearing completion with key commissioning activities now in progress including equipment energisation, water pump and instrumentation testing, as well as other no-load (“dry”) commissioning activities.
Following successful completion of no-load commissioning, load (“wet”) commissioning is expected to begin with the introduction of first ore to the Concentrator. First ore will be introduced to the fines production concentrate circuit with the coarse production circuit to follow in the coming weeks. The timing of the first fines concentrate to be generated during commissioning remains on track to occur before the end of June 2018.
Pilbara Minerals’ Managing Director and CEO, Ken Brinsden, said the Company was now right on the cusp of becoming a lithium raw materials producer.
“In the face of three major cyclones during the construction period, RCR and their subcontractors have put in an absolutely huge effort for the rapid build to deliver an outstanding processing facility right on time,” he said.
“It’s a quality build, includes excellent equipment selection and has all of the right components to maximise product quality and spodumene recovery. Our operations and maintenance teams are now well established and very focused on the ongoing plant commissioning and transition to full operations,” he added.