Pilbara Minerals Limited

Investment Decision August 2018

Pilbara Minerals Limited


Upgrade Pippingarra Road, a 70km public road to access the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum mine.

NAIF loan Total project value
$19.5m* $25m

The NAIF investment will finance the upgrade of a public road improving links from one of the world’s largest lithium ore deposits to port facilities.

It will provide multi-user benefits for years to come, improve productivity by increasing haulage payloads and allowing larger road train configurations to be used. It also facilitates potential future expansion of mining operations. Importantly, extreme weather risks will be mitigated by offering an alternative route to Port Hedland.

NAIF’s Value

NAIF’s ability to tailor concessionality assists to incentivise the private sector to invest in multi-user and publicly owned assets.

Indigenous Engagement & Outcomes

Relationship established with the Njamal and the Kariyarra Traditional Owners, with regular, ongoing engagement occurring.

Preferential employment and procurement initiatives targeting local Indigenous workforce and businesses.

Preliminary roadworks and other project works already sub-contracted to NPJV, a key Indigenous joint venture.

Cross-cultural awareness training to be delivered to staff and contractors by local Njamal Traditional Owners.

*This project will not proceed to financial close. Since NAIF’s Investment Decision several changes to Pilbara Minerals’ regional operating environment have resulted in the company reassessing its investment in the Pippingarra Road as its primary haulage route and as such this project will now not proceed.  To support future expansion of the Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project, Pilbara Minerals is undertaking an internal infrastructure assessment to understand what investment is required to support a larger operation. Pilbara Minerals and NAIF are continuing to engage with regards to future infrastructure requirements and potential NAIF investment support.

Economic Impact and Public Benefit ($27m)

  • Improved road safety by keeping heavy trucks off a long section of the vital Great Northern Highway and reducing interaction between light and heavy road train vehicles.
  • Improved access to remote Pilbara locations for individuals and businesses, Indigenous communities, quarries, locals, tourists and other mining companies.
  • Environmental benefits from emissions reductions and less noise.
  • Independently assessed public benefit of $27m over a 17-year mine life.


NAIF’s media release regarding the Investment Decision to Pilbara Minerals Limited can be found here