DRA to design processing facilities for Pilgangoora lithium project

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Perth-based lithium developer Altura Mining has tasked multidisciplinary global engineering group DRA with the preliminary engineering and design of its processing facilities at the Pilgangoora lithium project, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Pilgangoora was recognised as an advanced-stage, near-term lithium project. Mining would be conducted by openpit methods and a processing facility was planned with a feed capacity of 1.4-million tons a year, producing a spodumene concentrate grading about 6% lithium oxide.

Altura was planning an aggressive project delivery schedule, with production of first concentrate due in the third quarter of 2017.

“We are especially pleased to have been awarded the engineering and design of this significant project.  Over the past year, DRA worked closely with the Altura Mining team on the earlier feasibility study of the project, and the award of this next level of detail is testament to the sound relationship which exists between our two organisations,” said DRA Pacific region director Chad Botha.

He said this would add to DRA’s track record in the design and delivery of hard rock lithium projects, especially in the application of heavy medium separation systems and other gravity recovery techniques.

DRA would be responsible for all engineering disciplines, to a 30% level of detail, as well as for capital and operating cost estimates, to a 10% level of precision.

Highlighting previous work, Botha noted that DRA had delivered the beneficiation plant for the Mt Cattlin lithium project in Western Australia for Galaxy Resources. Moreover, DRA subsidiary Met-Chem, based in Montreal, Canada, had been engaged in the development of hard rock lithium projects in Quebec, including both beneficiation and hydrometallurgical facilities.