Pilbara Minerals has unveiled a funding package to support the stage 2 expansion of its 100%-owned Pilgangoora project in Australia.
The Pilgangoora project is a lithium-tantalum development located in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.
The company said that the multi-pronged funding package will cover the balance of the funding needed for the development of the Pilgangoora project stage 2 to boost its production to 5Mtpa.
Stage 2 will be engineered and constructed to enable a potential stage 3 expansion later on to exploit future processing capacity up to 6.2Mtpa and eventually to 7.5Mtpa.
Pilbara Minerals said that the funding package is underpinned by two of its main customers – Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium and Great Wall Motor.
The second stage expansion of the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project is expected to be completed by the March quarter of 2020. After that, the project will be ramped up to an annualized production rate of up to 850,000tpa of spodumene concentrate.
Great Wall Motor will make a $25m pre-payment to Pilbara Minerals for an additional 75,000 mt/year of spodumene concentrate output to emerge from Pilgangoora’s stage 2.
Pilbara Minerals managing director and CEO Ken Brinsden said: Our key customers have recently visited site and they clearly like what they have seen. They are now fulfilling their commitments by providing capital to underpin the Stage 2 expansion in order to secure their full Stage 2 offtake allocations.
“At the same time, they have made it clear that they would like to see the project grow further, prompting us to undertake studies to evaluate a potential Stage 3 expansion to at least 6.2Mtpa and potentially up to 7.5Mtpa, as part of the engineering work currently contributing to our Stage 2 project.”
The stage one development of the Pilgangoora project, which was completed in July 2018, aims at a production of two million tonne per annum (Mtpa). First shipment of spodumene concentrate from the Australia lithium-tantalum project was made in October 2018.