Kitco News – Revenue fell 46% compared to the previous quarter, noted Pilbara Minerals in its December quarterly results released on Wednesday.
Sales of spodumene concentrate totaled 159.9 kt. The average estimated realised price for spodumene concentrate was US$1,113/dry metric tonnes.
Unit operating cost (FOB) decreased by 14% to $639/t compared to the prior quarter, primarily driven by higher sales volume supported by increased production volume.
The company said it is committed to its expansion plans despite lithium’s steep slide.
Pilbara joint ventured with POSCO to build a downstream lithium hydroxide chemical facility in South Korea. Total forecasted cost climbed $95M to $895 million. The company also has its P680 and P1000 projects, both related to mineral processing.
“With confidence in the long-term outlook, the group is continuing with its previously announced strategy of prioritising investment in expanding production through the P680 and P1000 projects. This will yield both increased production capacity and result in scale benefits,” said the company in a news release.
The company’s total capital expenditure is down slightly, from $875M -$975M to a new range of $820M-$875M.
The company said its cash balance was $2.144 billion. It warned that it was unlikely to pay a dividend to preserve its balance sheet.
“The long-term outlook for lithium remains strong based on compounding growth in EV production and other energy storage applications. However, as with many emerging sectors, the industry has seen pricing volatility including periods of lower pricing.
The company said it “…is uniquely placed relative to many of its competitors in the lithium sector to withstand and capitalise on a period of lower prices that could rationalise the market.”
In the past year Benchmark’s EV lithium has tumbled 62%.
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