The restart of Pilbara Minerals’ Ngungaju Plant continues to kick goals.
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The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price is lagging behind its lithium peers on Wednesday despite the company announcing its first spodumene production at the Ngungaju Plant.
At the time of writing, the Pilbara Minerals share price is up 1.02% to $1.98.
Ngungaju Plant on track for 2022 ramp up
Pilbara Minerals first announced its plans to restart its Ngungaju plant in June, citing $39 million in restart costs.
Today, less than four months after its decision to restart Ngungaju, its coarse production circuit successfully delivered its first spodumene concentrate production.
Pilbara Minerals said that the restart of the coarse circuit is expected to accelerate spodumene concentrate production, with construction, commissioning and ramp-up works progressing for both fines and course concentrate circuits.
The initial production from the coarse circuit is expected to yield lower lithium recoveries, which should improve once its fines circuit is re-commissioned and optimised.
Next up, the company expects the production of fines concentrate to commence during the March quarter 2022.
Pilbara Minerals is targeting an annual production capacity of approximately 180,000 to 200,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) from Ngungaju by mid-2022.
This should bolster the company’s overall production portfolio, with its flagship and adjacent Pilgan Plant producing between 360,000 to 380,000 tpa.
Pilbara Minerals reiterated an FY22 spodumene concentrate production guidance across the entire Pilgangoora Project of 460,000 to 510,000 dmt.
The production from Ngungaju is uncommitted to offtake agreements. Pilbara Minerals intends to use Ngungaju production to support further sales from the emerging spot market via its recently launched Battery Materials Exchange (BMX) digital sales platform.
Pilbara Minerals share price so far this year
The Pilbara Minerals share price has been trading sideways since early August, after surging more than 100% year-to-date.
It briefly fell to two-and-a-half month lows of $1.78 on Tuesday last week. Before rebounding back around the $2 level.
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Motley Fool contributor Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.