Pilbara Minerals Ltd says it has commenced concentrate production from its newly installed filter press at the Pilgan Plant. The development is part of the Plant Improvements Project being undertaken at its 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum operation in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The filter press in question is provided by Ishigaki and will handle approximately 1,500 t/d of concentrate, Pilbara Minerals’ Managing Director and CEO, Ken Brinsden, confirmed.
The Pilgan Plant Improvements Project is expected to de-bottleneck the facility to increase plant operating time and throughput, reduce final product moisture (minimising solar drying) and further manage product recovery performance. These improvements are ultimately expected to realise additional production capacity from the facility, and particularly from the fines flotation circuit.
A total of approximately A$22 million ($16 million) of capital will be invested, with the project expected to be fully ramped-up during the December quarter 2021 to 360,000-380,000 t (dry) of spodumene concentrate. When combined with Ngungaju Plant’s ramped-up capacity of 180,000-200,000 t (dry), which is expected from mid-2022, the total annual production capacity across the entire Pilgangoora operation is expected to increase to circa-560,000-580,000 t/y.
Brinsden said the commencement of production from the Pilgan Plant Improvements Project marked another significant and exciting milestone in the rapid growth of the Pilgangoora project.
“The team has done another amazing job in delivering this project on time and in line with budget,” he said. “Keeping it on track, in combination with the restart of the Ngungaju Plant, is testament to the delivery capability of our team – particularly considering that these works were achieved during a period when the resources industry is under considerable pressure in terms of securing people, resources and equipment.”