Pilbara seizes the moment, value uplift to follow

IT was only a little more than four years ago that the then-penny dreadful Pilbara Minerals picked up what was originally the Pilgangoora tantalum-lithium project, 120km south of Port Hedland, writes Barry FitzGerald.

Pilbara seizes the moment, value uplift to follow Pilbara seizes the moment, value uplift to follow Pilbara seizes the moment, value uplift to follow Pilbara seizes the moment, value uplift to follow Pilbara seizes the moment, value uplift to follow

Loading Pilgangoora product onto a ship for export

In the intervening period, Pilbara launched itself in to a rapid-fire drilling program that established Pilgangoora as one of the biggest hard rock lithium deposits in the world, with the tantalum becoming a handy sideline.

Then it spent some A$285 million to bring it to production, with the first shipment of spodumene concentrate at an above spec 6.25% lithium leaving Port Hedland on October 2, and the first tantalite delivery made.

The speed of it all has been remarkable stuff, as will a decision within a few weeks by the Pilbara board to expand the newly built 2Mtpa mining and processing operation to 5Mtpa at a cost of $230 million.

Assuming the expansion plan goes to plan, the bigger kit will start to be commissioned in the 2019 fourth quarter.

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