PRODUCTION AND SALES
Record production of 77,820 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate (December Quarter 2020: 63,712 dmt).
Annualised production capacity of approximately 330,000 tpa (dry) spodumene concentrate achieved across the months of February and March 2021.
Spodumene concentrate shipments of 71,229 dmt (December Quarter 2020: 70,609 dmt), with the final March shipment partially completed as a result of port delays beyond Pilbara Minerals’ control.
Tantalite concentrate sales totalled 47,831 lbs (December Quarter 2020: 18,541 lbs).
Site works commenced on Pilgangoora Stage 1 (Plant 1) improvement projects, to increase spodumene concentrate production up to ~380,000 tpa.
Trial ore parcel from mine pit at Plant 2 (previously the Altura Lithium Project) processed through Plant 1, achieving high recovery rates.
Lithium chemicals pricing continued to significantly improve during the Quarter, which is now starting to be reflected in the price received for spodumene concentrate sales.
Strong spodumene concentrate demand, both from within existing customer group and from other market enquiries.
In late March 2021, a letter of credit was received ahead of an April 2021 spot sale of spodumene concentrate implying a headline price of US$655/dmt (SC6.0, CIF China basis), highlighting the recent strong upward trajectory in pricing.
Acquisition of Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd (ALO) completed on 20 January 2021, finalising the acquisition of the Altura Lithium Project.
Offtake and Product Prepayment Agreement executed with Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry Co Ltd, which included receipt of a US$15M prepayment during the Quarter to fund Plant 1 improvement projects.
Agreement executed with GLX Digital Limited for the launch of a new digital marketing and sales platform, providing flexibility to sell unallocated or available spodumene concentrate product in an open market.
Pilbara Minerals reinstated on the S&P/ASX 200 index effective from 22 March 2021, reflecting the strong increase in its market capitalisation over recent months.
Quarter-end cash balance of $112.1M, inclusive of $8.3M of irrevocable bank letters of credit for shipments completed in late March 2021.
Pilbara Minerals executes an agreement with GLX Digital Limited (GLXDigital) for the launch of a new sales and trading software platform for the Pilgangoora Project, providing flexibility to transact by auction, tender process or bilateral sale.
Platform will initially be trialled utilising unallocated or available spodumene concentrate product, including envisaged unallocated future production capacity from the recent Altura project acquisition.
Pilbara Minerals’ standard terms and conditions will apply to each sale, inclusive of letter of credit arrangements.
First sale(s) expected to be conducted over the coming months, following formal establishment of the platform and engagement with industry buyers.
Represents a key development in the battery materials market, providing a more efficient and sophisticated sales channel to support increasing demand for spodumene concentrate and the expected growth in Pilgangoora production over time.
Customers and other interested parties may register their interest in Pilbara Minerals’ Battery Material Exchange at email@example.com.
US$15M unsecured prepayment to fund Stage 1 improvement works on the Company’s existing Pilgangoora Project processing plant (Plant 1).
Prepayment to be provided in support of additional offtake (up to a further 40,000tpa of spodumene concentrate) for Yibin Tianyi from increased production capacity expected from improvement works on Plant 1 at the Pilgangoora Project.
Site works to commence on the Stage 1 improvement works this month, with commissioning expected September Quarter 2021.
The recently acquired ALO Project (Plant 2) remains on care and maintenance as evaluation works continues.
Approximately A$60.6 million raised from the underwritten Retail Entitlement Offer.
Total proceeds raised from the Entitlement Offer were approximately A$121.3 million, including the proceeds from the Institutional Entitlement Offer.
Together, with the cornerstone placement, approximately A$240.2 million was raised, with proceeds being used to fund the acquisition of all shares in Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd (ALO), the entity which owns Altura’s Pilgangoora Lithium Project (Altura Project).
Acquisition of ALO expected to complete on or before Friday, 22 January 2021.
The approval by ALO creditors and execution of Pilbara Minerals’ sponsored DOCA on 11 December 2020 satisfies an important pre-condition to the proposed acquisition of the neighbouring Altura Project for US$175 million.
Acquisition to be largely funded through a A$240 million equity raising, comprising a A$119 million cornerstone placement (now complete) and a A$121 million fully-underwritten 1-for-7.6 non-renounceable entitlement offer (launching today), both at a fixed offer price of A$0.36 per share.
The acquisition provides a unique opportunity to realise tangible operational synergies by consolidating the two neighbouring projects into a single integrated operation.
Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to advise that the creditors of Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd approved Pilbara Minerals’ proposed Deed of Company Arrangement at the second meeting of creditors held today.
Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Share Sale Agreement with AItura Mining Limited and Richard Tucker and John Bumbak in their capacity as joint and several receivers and managers of AItura for the acquisition of the shares in AItura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd, which owns AItura’s Pilgangoora Lithium Project, for US$175 million.
Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to announce it has received temporary royalty relief assistance from the Western Australian Government.
As of today, Pilbara Minerals has been granted a temporary 50 per cent royalty rebate on spodumene concentrate produced and sold from its Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project. Currently spodumene producers are required to pay a 5% state royalty based on revenue received (FOB basis) from spodumene concentrate sales.
This assistance will be provided for up to 12 months.
PRODUCTION AND SALES
Increase in process plant run-time, representing approximately 70-75% utilisation (compared with 40% in the June Quarter 2020) to satisfy increased customer demand.
Production of 62,404 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate (June Quarter: 34,484 dmt).
Spodumene concentrate shipments totalled 43,630 dmt (June Quarter: 29,312 dmt).
Tantalite concentrate sales totalled 25,222 lbs (June Quarter: 23,232 lbs).
Lower unit cash operating costs1 of US$355/dmt, reflecting sustained higher Iithia recoveries and increased processing plant utilisation. Unit costs trending towards the target of US$320-350/dmt (CIF China).
European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050, is driving electric vehicle take up and therefore shifting market sentiment.
Lithium raw material demand improving as Pilbara Minerals’ spodumene sales increase 49% compared to the June Quarter 2020.
Successful completion of the low-cost US$110M senior secured debt facility executed with BNP Paribas and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, allowing repayment of the Nordic Bond.
US$15M Working Capital Facility with BNP Paribas renewed and remains undrawn.
Quarter-end cash balance of $85.7M (30 June 2020: $86.3M).
Following the appointment of KordaMentha as the Receiver of Altura Mining Limited (“Altura”) on 26 October 2020, Pilbara Minerals Limited (“Pilbara Minerals” or the “Company") (ASX: PLS) has entered into an Implementation Deed with the senior secured loan noteholders of Altura (“Loan Noteholders”) which provides it with a path to potentially acquire the Altura Lithium Project (“Altura Project") through the purchase of the shares in Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd (“ALO”) for approximately US$175 million, subject to completion of the receivership process.
Australian spodumene and tantalum concentrate producer, Pilbara Minerals Limited, is pleased to provide the following operational update for the September 2020 Quarter for its Pilgangoora Lithium—Tantalum Project. While the Company continued campaign mining and processing during the September quarter in line with its moderated production strategy, several improvements were recorded across the operation, notably: an increase in plant run—time and utilisation, which represented approximately 70—75% utilisation across the quarter (compared with 40% in the June quarter); higher plant utilisation and continued high product recovery contributed to a lower average unit cash operating cost1 of US$355/dmt (CIF China) for the September quarter; increased production, with a total of 62,404 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate produced for the quarter (compared with 34,484 dmt for the June quarter); and an increase in sales, with spodumene concentrate shipments totalling 43,630 dmt for the quarter, in line with guidance provided in the June Quarterly Report (compared with 29,312 dmt for the June quarter).
Further to its announcement of 15 September 2020, Australian spodumene and tantalum producer, Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to announce that it has now completed the drawdown of the new senior secured US$110M Finance Facility (Finance Facility). The Finance Facility is provided by leading international bank, BNP Paribas and Australia’s specialist clean energy investor, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
Formal Agreements for the US$110M senior secured debt facility now executed with both BNP Paribas and Australia’s specialist clean energy investor, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. All conditions precedent for financial close and drawdown have been satisfied. Redemption notice to be issued to the Bond Trustee to redeem the outstanding balance of the Nordic Bonds. Draw-down of the new US$110M senior secured debt facility and repayment of the Nordic Bonds anticipated by 30 September. Agreements executed also include the renewal of the US$15M Working Capital Facility with BNP Paribas.
PRODUCTION AND SALES Campaign mining and processing continued in response to soft market conditions. Production of 34,484 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate (March Quarter: 20,251 dmt). Spodumene concentrate shipments totalled 29,312 dmt (March Quarter: 33,729 dmt). Tantalite concentrate sales totalled 23,232 lbs (March Quarter: 33,970 lbs). With strong product recoveries continuing and increased plant run—time, unit cash operating cost trended towards the target of US$320-350/dmt CIF China. LITHIUM MARKET Positive market sentiment following introduction of post COVID-19 stimulus packages and incentives by various governments for the electric vehicle (EV) and renewable energy sectors and Tesla surpassing Toyota to become the world’s most valuable car company. Market signalling indicates lithium pricing may be approaching the bottom, with several investment banks and industry analysts forecasting a demand surge and price turnaround in 2021.
Binding commitments received for US$110M senior secured debt facility from leading international bank BNP Paribas and Australia’s specialist clean energy investor, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation - both long term supporters of Pilbara Minerals. Finance Facility will primarily be used to fund the early redemption of the existing US$100M Nordic Bond (Nordic Bond), which was used to support the financing of Stage 1 of the Pilgangoora Lithium—Tantalum Project in 2017. Additional binding commitment also received from BNP Paribas to renew the existing US$15M Working Capital Facility. Finance Facility will provide a substantial cost saving when compared to the Nordic Bond, with an average interest rate of ~5%, based on current market reference rates. Drawdown of the Finance Facility expected in the current quarter, subject to final documentation and customary conditions precedent. The continuing support of CEFC demonstrates the importance of lithium in the global transition towards clean energy technology. Pilbara Minerals to embark on a pathway to achieve net zero emissions (Scope 1 and 2) and disclose in line with the Task Force on Climate—related Financial Disclosures.