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Commodities

Australia's Pilbara Minerals to invest $205 million in Pilgangoora to raise output

(Reuters) - Australian lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd said on Wednesday it would invest an estimated A$297.5 million ($205.51 million) to increase production capacity at its Pilgangoora project in Western Australia.

The investment is expected to increase the maximum production capacity at Pilgangoora to 680,000 tonnes per annum (ktpa) of spodumene concentrate, an increase of 100 ktpa from earlier capacity, it said here.

About A$103 million will be invested to construct a circuit to separate low-grade waste material, increasing production capacity of the commodity by 100 ktpa, while the remaining A$194.5 million will be used to construct a sorting facility.

“This increase in production capacity will enable (the) company to continue to capitalise on opportunities in lithium chemicals market,” Chief Executive Officer Dale Henderson said.

Pilbara shares were up as much as 2.5% at A$2.490, their highest since June 7 as at 0015 GMT

Pilbara in February reported its first half-year profit helped by surging battery metals prices, as demand for electric vehicles soars globally.

Separately here, the Perth, Australia-based miner narrowed its fiscal 2022 production guidance for Pilgangoora to between 373,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) and 377,000 dmt of spodumene concentrate, from prior guidance of between 340,000 dmt and 380,000 dmt.

Pilbara expects to ship between 355,000 dmt and 360,000 dmt in fiscal 2022, significantly higher than last year’s 281,440 dmt.

($1 = 1.4476 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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