Workers at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora operation in WA. Source: PLS/Twitter.
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  • Pilbara Minerals (PLS) and project partner Calix (CXL) have been awarded a $20 million grant under the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative
  • The grant will be used to develop a proposed demonstration plant within Pilbara’s Pilgangoora project in WA
  • The Mid-Stream Demonstration Plant is aimed at producing lithium salts for global distribution via an innovative “value-added” refining process
  • Pilbara and Calix say they’re on track to finalise a JV agreement in Q3, with a final investment decision to be decided in late 2022 or early 2023
  • PLS shares are trading 3.65 per cent higher at $2.70, while CXL shares are up 5.04 per cent at $6.99 as of 12:15 pm AEST

Pilbara Minerals (PLS) and Calix (CXL) have been awarded a $20 million grant under the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

The grant will be put toward the development of the Pilgangoora project, representing a significant step forward for the “Mid-Stream Project”, a proposed demonstration-scale chemical facility at Pilgangoora.

Development work includes the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the Mid-Stream project aimed at producing lithium salts for global distribution via an innovative “value-added” refining process.

“[The] Australian Government’s MMI grant funding [represents] key backing for technology that we believe represents a giant leap forward for the hard-rock lithium raw materials supply chain,” PLS Managing Director and CEO Ken Brinsden said.

“The Mid-Stream Project is expected to facilitate waste minimisation in key end-use
markets, which decarbonises the hard-rock lithium supply chain and creates competitive
“value-added” products that can serve global markets directly.”

Pilbara and Calix signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last year to develop a lithium chemicals refinery at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora Operation in WA.

As part of the deal, the companies would complete a scoping study to assess a new refining process using Calix’s unique calcination technology to potentially create a concentrated lithium salt product from fines-flotation spodumene concentrate produced at Pilgangoora.

Positively, the study has confirmed the technical viability of the Mid-Stream project to produce a new end-product using lithium phosphate salt as the preferred product after it performed better than other alternatives during testwork.

The companies are on track to finalise and execute the formal JV agreement by early in the third quarter of 2022, with a final investment decision to be decided in late 2022 or early 2023.

PLS shares were up 3.65 per cent and trading at $2.70, while CXL shares were up 5.04 per cent at $6.99 as of 12:15 pm AEST.

PLS by the numbers
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