Lithium demand assured - Pilbara Minerals

3rd August 2022 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

KALGOORLIE ( – Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals is positive on the growth expectations for global lithium demand.

Newly appointed MD and CEO Dale Henderson told delegates at the Diggers and Dealers conference that Pilbara Minerals estimated that global lithium demand would require at least 18 projects the size of its own enlarged Pilgangoora project by 2040, and nine of these projects by 2030.

Pilbara at the end of June took a final investment decision (FID) to increase output from its Pilgangoora operation from 580 000 t/y to 680 000 t/y of spodumene concentrate at a capital cost of A$297.5-million.

The P680 project will require the construction of a primary rejection heavy media separation circuit and the construction of an integrated crushing and ore sorting facility capable of processing up to five-million tonnes a year of ore throughput and supporting further process improvements and concentrate quality.

Construction will start in the third quarter of this year and commissioning of the primary rejection circuit is expected to start in the September quarter of 2023, with the additional production capacity to follow three months later.

Pilbara Minerals will self-manage delivery of the P680 project to help mitigate cost and schedule overruns, with key long-lead procurement to be undertaken prior to the award of key construction contracts.

The project’s capital cost will be funded from existing cash flows and debt facilities.

Henderson said on Wednesday that Pilbara Minerals is expected to make an FID on adding a further 100 000 t/y capacity at Pilgangoora by the December quarter, taking capacity at Pilgangoora to one-million tonnes a year of spodumene concentrate.