Pilbara Minerals aerial view

Pilbara Minerals Limited (NAIF loan not proceeding)

Upgrade Pippingarra Road, a 70km public road to access the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum mine (Investment Decision August 2018. NAIF loan not proceeding)

About the Project

Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project is located 120km from Port Hedland in Western Australia’s resource rich Pilbara region. The project is one of the biggest new lithium ore (spodumene) deposits in the world. The project is accessible by road, with access to existing infrastructure including port facilities at the port of Port Hedland.

The Value NAIF Brings

NAIF made an Investment Decision on the project in August 2018. The structure of NAIF’s investment support was designed to incentivise the private sector to invest in multi user and publicly owned assets. Other sources of finance potentially available to Pilbara Minerals would make the project uneconomic.

Indigenous Engagement

  • 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 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

Prior to NAIF’s Investment Decision, independent analysis by Deloitte Access Economics forecast public benefit including $27m over a 17 year mine life comprised of the following benefits:

  • 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; and
  • environmental benefits from emissions reductions and less noise.

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