The stronger-for-longer lithium story is not exactly panning out as such, with a global oversupply emerging and the upbeat blue sky stories supplanted by tales of woe from the emerging producers. The same thing’s happening with that other wonder battery metal, graphite.
Pilbara Minerals (PLS) was the big lithium presence at this week’s Resources Rising Stars conference, where there was lots of discussion about Tesla wankers and whether the electric vehicle revolution was real.
Shares in lithium miner Pilbara Minerals jumped almost 12% yesterday at one stage yesterday after the company said a pre-feasibility study demonstrated the the case for more than doubling production at its Pilbara mine in WA.
Pilbara Minerals ((PLS)) plans to supply direct shipping ore (DSO) from its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project to Atlas Iron ((AGO)) over a period of 15 months. Brokers expect this sale will provide some early cash flow as commissioning of stage I gets underway.
The company has reported recoveries in the December quarter to date of 60%. Credit Suisse notes, importantly, in early November recoveries averaged 68.5% over a five day period. This is a major step towards the long-held target recovery of 75%.
September quarter production was weak, curtailed to meet soft customer demand and limit the cash burn. The company achieved structural cost reductions and is targeting a reduction in quarterly costs of $5-10m.
The company has completed the institutional proportion of its $91.5m capital raising. The second portion is a strategic investment from CATL, a Chinese-based global manufacturer of electric vehicles and energy storage batteries.