The detailed design is substantially complete and the first plant construction works are planned to commence this month.
A definite feasibility study for the Pilgangoora Lithium Project in September 2016 had projected a pre-tax net present value of $411 million and a payback period of just 1.8 years.
The project has an initial 13-year mine life based on the ore reserve estimate of 20.33 million tonnes at 1.06% lithium.
Interestingly, the ore reserve was subsequently upgraded by 9.8 million tonnes to a total of 30.1 million tonnes at 1.04% lithium, further enhancing the project potential.
Following completion of the civil design in the coming weeks, the focus of the design team will shift to the Structural Mechanical and Pipework (SMP) packages to allow fabrication of steelwork to commence.
Meanwhile, Altura is continuing to place orders for the machinery and equipment necessary to build the process plant.
Of the 40 packages that comprise of the machinery and equipment necessary to build the process plant, contracts have been signed for 25.
Importantly, the project remains on track to begin production in Q1 2018.
Altura had a cash balance of circa $37 million as at 31 March 2017.