06/01/2021 - 15:17

Pilbara Minerals boosts shipments

06/01/2021 - 15:17

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Shares in Pilbara Minerals continued their strong rally today as the company announced record quarterly shipments and highlighted the lift in global lithium prices.

Pilbara Minerals boosts shipments
Pilbara Minerals has announced record shipments from its Pilgangoora lithium mine. Photo: Pilbara Minerals

Shares in Pilbara Minerals continued their strong rally today as the company announced record quarterly shipments and highlighted the lift in global lithium prices.

The West Perth-based company announced record shipments for the December quarter of 70,609 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora project in the Pilbara.

This exceeded the top end of the company’s sales guidance for the quarter, which was in the range of 55,000 to 70,000 dmt.

The December figure was up 38 per cent on the previous quarter and was well above the previous shipment record of 46,682 dmt in the December quarter of 2018.

The company said improving spodumene concentrate demand was evident from both its existing offtake customers and other enquiries.

It noted a material lift in lithium chemicals pricing in China, with Platts battery grade lithium carbonate prices up 35 per cent from its lows in August 2020.

Managing director Ken Brinsden was upbeat on the news.

“What a great way to start the New Year with record tonnes shipped from Pilgangoora to support increasing customer demand and an upward trend evident in the price for lithium chemicals in China, showing positive signs of a recovery in the lithium raw material market,” he said.

“The significant amount of work we have undertaken over the past 18-months in improving lithia recoveries, reducing operating costs and refinancing our senior debt facility, together with the impending acquisition of the neighbouring Altura lithium project, means that Pilbara Minerals is well positioned to respond to a recovery in the lithium market and capitalise on improvements in market conditions.”

PLS shares closed 6.4 cents higher at $1.00 today; that followed an eight-cent gain yesterday.

The share price had been as low as 14 cents early last year and was trading around 40 cents in October when the company announced plans to buy Altura Mining’s lithium operations.

Eligible shareholders are able to subscribe for PLS shares at a price of just 36 cents under its retail entitlement offer.

This is part of a fully underwritten $121 million entitlement offer to help fund the Altura acquisition.

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