Pilgangoora confirmed as a lithium giant
Pilbara Minerals has confirmed Pilgangoora as one of the world’s largest hard rock lithium resource (reports MiningNews).
9th September 2021
The company reported a 39% increase in measured, indicated and inferred resources to 308.9 million tonnes at 1.14% lithium oxide, 105 parts per million tantalum pentoxide and 0.59% iron oxide for 3.5Mt of containing lithium oxide and 71.7 million pounds of tantalum pentoxide at a 0.2% lithium cut-off grade.
At a 0.5% cut-off, the lithium resource is 3.4Mt at 1.22%.
Measured and indicated resources were up 59% to 2.46Mt of lithium oxide and 47.7Mlb of tantalum pentoxide.
The upgrade is the result of the discovery of new pegmatite domains and the inclusion of the neighbouring Ngungaju resource.
"This landmark resource upgrade is another clear indication of Pilgangoora's position as the world's premier hard rock lithium asset," Pilbara managing director and CEO Ken Brinsden said.
"The scale of the endowment is quite remarkable, with the integration of the adjoining Ngungaju resource, combined with highly successful development and drilling programs, taking our resource inventory well and truly to the next level.
"We are looking forward to completing an updated ore reserve next month that will underpin operations for many decades to come.
"Against the backdrop of surging global demand for lithium raw materials, Pilgangoora is incredibly well positioned to play a pivotal role in the accelerating global energy transformation."
The spodumene price has doubled this year amid an acceleration of demand for electric vehicles.
"We have not seen any strong resistance to this round of spodumene price rally as it stood at US$930/t mid [last] week, reflecting the current tight spodumene concentrate market," Macquarie said on Friday.
According to FastMarkets, the lithium carbonate price jumped 13.6% last week, the strongest week-on-week gain since the price assessment was launched in October 2017.
Macquarie said stocks of battery grade lithium hydroxide were continuing to fall, which should support the price for the rest of the year.
Pilbara is Macquarie's top lithium pick. The bank has an outperform rating and $2.70 price target.
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