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Altura changes direction from developer to miner

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

Altura Mining Limited has made the transition from developer to miner after producing the first batch of lithium concentrate from its flagship 100% owned Altura lithium project.

Altura changes direction from developer to miner

The company-making milestone comes 16 months since first ground was broken at Pilgangoora in mid-March 2017. Altura has been further encouraged by onsite testing of the first production batch by laboratory operator Intertek. The results have shown a concentrate product grade exceeding the industry benchmark SC6 concentrate specifications and fits comfortably within those required by the company’s offtake agreements. Further plant optimisation will occur as production is ramped up in coming months.

Following the commencement of crushing operations in May, Altura has been working through the final commissioning stages to progress the first delivery of lithium concentrate. Offtake partner Lionergy will receive the first shipment of lithium concentrate aimed at a shipping window next month. Lionergy has also indicated it would like to receive as much as possible of the 100 000 tpy minimum supply allocation under the Binding Offtake Agreement (BOA) as production at Pilgangoora ramps up in 2H18.

At full production the processing plant will produce 220 000 tpy of 6% lithium concentrate that will feed into the electric vehicle and static storage lithium battery market. A Definitive Feasibility Study was delivered in April on a Stage 2 duplication of the processing plant to produce 440 000 tpy of lithium concentrate which showed robust economics including an internal rate of return of 63% and a 2.3 year payback.

Managing Director James Brown said the first production milestone was a testament to the company and all the individuals involved.

He commented: “We have always worked to a stringent and aggressive timetable with this project. As with any development, there are obstacles which occur, however the entire team has worked tirelessly to be in the position we are in today, where we are in sight of delivering our first shipment of concentrate.

“Our focus now is to ramp-up production to full capacity over coming six months and then we can turn our attention to the expansion project. This is a very exciting time to be an Altura shareholder.”

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