Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals Limited announced that construction and power distribution at its its flagship 100%-owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project in WA is largely complete, allowing commissioning to begin and first concentrate production to take place by the end of June 2018.
After a period of intensive investment by Pilbara Minerals and construction activity by its contracting partners, 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.
The Pilgangoora Concentrator provides for the recovery of spodumene (containing lithia) and tantalite minerals.