Australia’s CEFC invests A$20m in lithium/tantalum mine

source: mining weekly news

PERTH ( – The federal government will invest around A$20-million into the Pilgangoora lithium tantalum project, in Western Australia.

The investment will be done through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), and is the current government’s first investment in a mining project of this kind in Western Australia.

Developer Pilbara Minerals has welcomed the investment, with MD and CEO Ken Brinsden saying the CEFC investment will form part of the overall funding package for the Pilgangoora project.

“The CEFC’s core investment objectives are to catalyse and leverage an increased flow of funds for the commercialisation of Australia-based renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.

“CEFC’s investment highlights the important role that Australia can play in the supply of lithium raw materials to the rapidly growing battery market, helping to cement our key position in the global supply chain for renewable energy storage, electric vehicles and other clean energy initiatives.”

The Pilbara board recently took a final investment decision on the A$234-million Pilgangoora project, targeting first spodumene and tantalite concentrate shipments in the second quarter of 2018.

The project is expected to produce an average of 314 000 t/y of 6% spodumene concentrate and 321 000 lb/y of tantalite, over a mine life of 36 years. All project approvals are already in place.

The project is estimated to have a post-tax net present value of A$709-million and an internal rate of return of 38.1%. It is expected to generate life-of-mine revenues of A$9.23-billion.

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