Australian lithium producer, Pilbara Minerals Ltd. has announced that its board has approved the capital investment for its P1000 Project.
This investment in the Pilgan Plant and supporting infrastructure will deliver an approximately 320 000 tpy increase in nameplate spodumene concentrate production capacity. This will ultimately increase the annual production run rate from the Pilgangoora Project to approximately 1 million dmt,1 once fully commissioned and ramped up in the September quarter of 2025.
This investment supports Pilbara Minerals’ long-term growth strategy to increase production capacity at the Pilgangoora Project in line with market demand.
The P1000 Project leverages the company’s earlier investment in additional primary rejection and crushing/ore sorting capacity from the ongoing P680 Project. The P1000 Project involves a series of upgrades to the Pilgan Plant’s concentrator and a range of supporting infrastructure, along with an expansion of the Tambrah Camp.
The company will self-manage delivery of the P1000 Project. Key long-lead procurement has already commenced as part of the AUS$38 million in pre-FID expenditure announced in December 2022, and will continue to be undertaken prior to the award of key construction contracts.
The P1000 Project’s estimated capital cost of AUS$560 million across the Pilgan concentrator and supporting infrastructure includes the previously announced AUS$38 million of pre-FID capital and is expected to deliver attractive returns to the company, including a forecast payback from incremental cashflows relative to P680 within 12 months.2
The capital investment for the P1000 Project is expected to be funded from a combination of the company’s strong balance sheet and ongoing cashflow from existing operations.
Dale Henderson, Pilbara Minerals’ Managing Director and CEO, comments:
“The P1000 Project expansion is an important milestone for Pilbara Minerals. This expansion step facilitates a major lift in production capacity, capitalising on the substantial scale of this Tier-1 hard rock asset which underpins an approximately 25 year mine life at this new expanded production level.
“This reinforces the exceptional scale and quality of our Pilgangoora Project, which is one of the few hard rock lithium production operations globally that has both the resource size and an existing operating platform to enable a rapid scale-up of production to capitalise on the growing demand for lithium products.
“From the outset, our long-term growth strategy has been to develop each stage with a focus on tailoring production to meet demand, while also planning for future expansion opportunities. The P1000 Project increases our nameplate production capacity by approximately 47%, driven by continued strong demand for our product, and leverages the planning and ongoing work being undertaken as part of the current P680 Expansion Project.
“The P1000 investment case is compelling with a payback from this investment expected to be within a year. This further increase in production capacity will cement Pilbara Minerals’ position as a globally significant supplier of lithium materials products delivering into this rapidly growing market.
“The company has received significant inbound interest for further offtake and downstream partnerships, and we have begun exploring options to maximise the value of the additional product from P1000 including new offtakes and downstream partnerships to extract greater value along the battery minerals supply chain.”
- Based on 5.7% concentrate grade. Ultimate production achieved in any year will depend on the concentrate grade and mined grade and is variable over the mine plan.
- Based on expected P1000 first ore timing in the March quarter of 2025 and utilising Benchmark Minerals International 4Q22 lithium chemicals and spodumene pricing linked forecasts along with an exchange rate of AUS$0.74 for FY25 and AUS$0.75 for FY26.
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