The company, which owns 100% of the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project, has mostly completed construction and power distribution at the facility, a step which allowed the commissioning to commence. It worked with contracting partners, including RCR Resources, on the work and is now conducting equipment energisation, water pump and instrumentation testing and other no-load activities.
One dry commissioning is complete, load/wet commissioning will start with the introduction of first ore to the concentrator. In the weeks ahead, it will introduce first ore to the fines production circuit with the coarse circuit and has maintained its late June target for first fines concentrate.
"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," CEO and managing director Ken Brinsden said, confirming that Pilbara is "on the cusp" of becoming a raw materials producer of lithium.
"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."
Pilgangoora, located outside Port Hedland in the Pilbara region, is currently projected to produce 2Mt/y for about 36 years, and 5Mt/y with an expansion in stage 2 of the project.