Pilbara shares reach all-time high

Shares in Pilbara Minerals hit a new record high today on positive sentiment in the lithium market and further growth potential of the Pilgangoora operation in the Pilbara (reports MiningNews).
25th June 2021
Resources Rising Stars

Pilbara shares reached A$1.58 in morning trade, up 5.7% and giving the company a market value of $4.55 million.

Pilbara shares are now up nearly 540% over the past 12 months and 81% since the start of the year.

The company was dropped from the S&P/ASX 200 in June last year when its shares traded as low as 24c, but was readmitted in March after sentiment in the lithium sector turned.

Late yesterday, Pilbara reported "exceptional" drilling results from its Pilgangoora operation near the historical tenement boundary of the former Altura operation.

Pilbara acquired the Altura operation (now known as the Ngungaju plant) earlier this year and has been working on optimising and growing future pit inventory.

Results for the first 32 reverse circulation holes included highlight hits of 20m at 1.83% lithium oxide and 36 parts per million tantalum pentoxide from 28m; 12m at 1.84% lithium and 67ppm tantalum from 5m; 21m at 1.28% lithium and 62ppm tantalum from 25m; 32m at 1.44% lithium and 79ppm tantalum from 159m; and 44m at 1.49% lithium and 76ppm tantalum from 146m.

The company said the near-surface pegmatite suggested a lower strip ratio within the potential mine pit inventory of the combined South Pit.

"The wide and near-surface intercepts of relatively high-grade mineralisation will go a long way to expanding our mining envelope and pit inventory of the combined South Pit areas," Pilbara managing director Ken Brinsden said.

"As we work towards a restart at the Ngungaju plant, the success of this exploration and drill program and the efforts of our team to further integrate both assets means we can be confident in a bright future for the greater Pilgangoora operation."

An updated resource will be released in the September quarter and will include the former Altura resource.

Pilgangoora on its own has a resource of 222.5 million tonnes at 1.26% lithium oxide and 116ppm tantalum pentoxide.

Pilbara's Pilgan plant is currently producing at a rate of 330,000 tonnes of spodumene per annum and it is weighing up a restart of the 206,000tpa Ngungaju plant.

Spodumene prices have almost doubled this year and are currently sitting at US$685 per tonne, according to UBS.


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