Altura Mining has started production at its Altura Lithium mine at Pilgangoora, Western Australia and expects to reach design capacity of 220,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of quality 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate by year-end 2018. Production from the mine began on July 25, and haulage of concentrate 123 kilometers (km) to the Qube storage facility in Port Hedland followed on August 7. Altura is currently considering plans to double concentrate production to 440,000 mt/y to tap into the global demand for electric vehicle and static storage batteries. The Pilgangoora deposit is mined by open-pit methods. Mine life at current operating rates is forecast at 20 years. Concentrate is exported by ship from Port Hedland to Altura’s lithium alliance partners, OptimumNano and Lionergy, in China, for further processing into a wide range of lithium chemicals.
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