Another lithium mine powers up in the Pilbara

lithium mine
A lithium mine

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston has officially opened Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project.

Located 120km south of Port Hedland, stage one of the Pilgangoora lithium mine project comprises a two million tonnes per annum mining and processing operation.

This week, the Perth-based company made a final investment decision to expand the project, stage two, to five million tonnes per annum – subject to regulatory approvals and the balance of project funding.

Pilbara Minerals commenced its first product shipment on October 2, 2018.

Related article: Kemerton lithium plant approved in WA

During the construction phase, the Pilgangoora project’s workforce peaked at more than 800, now there are about 200 operational staff on-site and in Perth.

There are seven operating lithium mines in Western Australia.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said Pilgangoora is a world-class lithium project.

“It was only four years ago when Pilbara Minerals drilled its first hole and the project has quickly evolved, becoming one of Australia’s fastest lithium developments,” he said.

Related article: Training and jobs boost for Pilbara energy workers

“We have an abundance of lithium and other battery minerals, and the McGowan Government is committed to making the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

“I look forward to sharing our Future Battery Industry Strategy in the coming months, which will drive the development of the battery materials industry, contribute to the State’s economic diversification and help create jobs.”