A truck in the field. Source: Pilbara Minerals
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  • Pilbara Minerals (PLS) achieves production within its forecasted guidance for the March quarter, despite COVID-19 impacts
  • At quarter end, the company had produced 81,431 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate within its guidance of 75,000 to 90,000 dmt
  • However, due to continuing COVID-19 impacts, PLS expects FY22 annualised production to be in the lower half of the guidance range
  • The company also received a US$5650/dmt (A$7940) bid for cargo at its Battery Metals Exchange auction last night, which is almost double the bid at the previous auction in October
  • Company shares are up 4.04 per cent to trade at $2.71

Pilbara Minerals (PLS) has achieved production within its forecasted guidance for the March quarter, despite COVID-19 impacts.

At quarter end, the company booked production at 81,431 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora operation in Western Australia, which was within its guidance of between 75,000 to 90,000 dmt.

Over the period, Pilbara Minerals said production was impacted by the rising instance of COVID-19 in Western Australia which saw reduced availability of staff and contractors.

The company expects its operations to continue being impacted by COVID-19 through to the June quarter and has some uncertainty around production levels through to June 30.

However, financial year 2022 annualised production guidance has been maintained between 340,000 and 380,000 dmt, although PLS notes continuing COVID-19 impacts may result in production being in the lower half of the guidance range.

The company also told investors today it received a bid of US$5650/dmt (A$7,940) for an intended 5000 dmt of its cargo at its fourth Battery Metals Exchange Auction held last night.

This is almost double the highest bid received at the previous auction held in October of USD$2350/dmt.

As Pilbara Minerals works to ramp-up production from its Ngungaju plant and more tonnes become available, it expects auctions will be held on a more regular basis.

“The pricing received on the BMX sales trading platform is indicative of the critical shortage that exists in respect of lithium raw material supply,” the announcement read.

“The sale further differentiates the emerging spot-market for spodumene sales, as compared to the typically longer-dated offtake sales arrangements and highlights how well Pilbara Minerals is placed to participate in this market and outperform its peers in respect of sales price received.”

Pilbara Minerals closed the quarter with a cash balance of $284.9 million, inclusive of $75.2 million of irrevocable bank letters of credit for shipments completed within the quarter.

Company shares were up 4.04 per cent to trade at $2.71 at 10:49 am AEST.

PLS by the numbers
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