Lithium miner says its first profit is just the beginning

Pilbara Minerals managing director Dale Henderson said it had been an incredible year for the company as it capitalized on rising demand for lithium from battery and car manufacturers.

Mr. Henderson said there were many upsides, with the former Altura plant poised to achieve nameplate capacity of 180,000 to 200,000 tonnes in the September quarter, giving Pilbara Minerals a combined spodumene production capacity of up to 580,000 tons per year.

Mr. Henderson said strong demand was coming from everywhere, including existing customers and those who wanted access to spodumene.

“If we could produce more, they would take more,” he said.

“(And) inquiries continue to be plentiful and rapid from new clients. The most vivid example is our Battery Material Exchange (digital sales platform) which continues to be hotly contested, and may it continue for a long time.

“What we see is new entrants fighting (for supply), including some OEMs who are obviously making more and more headlines every day.”

Mr. Henderson said the 2021-22 result transformed the balance sheet and put the company in the driver’s seat for further growth.

“The restart of the Ngungaju plant during the year, together with capacity improvements at the Pilgan plant, allowed for increased production volumes to be sold in this strong price environment,” he said.

Pilbara Minerals recently signed plans to increase production to a combined 640,000-680,000 tonnes per year and is moving towards a final investment decision to expand production to one million tonnes per year.

The company’s share price closed up more than 3 percent at $3.27.

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