Australian Pilbara's lithium output not impacted by cyclone; possible delay in shipment

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019

  • Keywords:Australian, Pilbara, lithium
[Fellow]Australian Pilbara's lithium output not impacted by cyclone; possible delay in shipment

[]Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals has seen "no material impact" to its mining operations as a result of the recent cyclone in Western Australia, but exports could be delayed due to closure of Port Hedland, the company said Tuesday.

"Following the 'all clear' alert issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Monday morning for the Port Hedland region, senior representatives from Pilbara Minerals have assessed the Pilgangoora site and reported minimal damage," the company said.

"Mining and processing operations have now resumed with minimal impact of approximately 72 hours' disruption to site-based production activities arising from the cyclone," it said.

Pilbara Minerals' 100%-owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project is about 120 kilometers from Port Hedland in Western Australia. It is one of the biggest new lithium ore deposits in the world, the company said.

The company noted that the Pilbara Ports Authority has continued to suspend ship-loading activities within Port Hedland harbor and, as such, there may be "minor delays" to Pilbara Minerals' shipping schedule over the coming week.

Meanwhile, mining giant Rio Tinto said Monday that it continued "to monitor the movement of the cyclone".

"We are working closely with [Department of Fire and Emergency Services] and local emergency services to align our recovery activities with their community alerts to ensure our workforce and their families remain safe. To date, no injuries to employees have been reported," the company said.

"The ports of Cape Lambert and Dampier remain closed and all port operations stopped. Some rail and mining operations have also been impacted by the adverse weather conditions. Normal operations will resume once safe to do so," it added at the time.

According to Platts' cFlow vessel tracking data, Rio shipped 4.56 million mt of iron ore from Port Dampier and Cape Lambert in Western Australia last week, down 25.1% from the week before.

(S&P Global Platts)

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