The share price of Altura Mining Ltd [ASX:AJM] has been on the slide for approximately the past 12 months. Since March 2018, the share price has dropped nearly 63%.
Now the lithium mining company could be set to see its share price rebound. Since trade began this morning, the share price is up 5.19%, trading at $0.14.
Commercial production declared
Today, the company announced the completion of commissioning for stage 1 of its lithium project located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The announcement marks a significant milestone for the company and formally signifies its transition to commercial lithium production.
Although operations began in July 2018, Altura has steadily ramped up production at its Pilgangoora mine, with its first shipment being delivered in October 2018.
What today’s announcement signifies is the achievement of commercially viable production.
Stage 1 has a sustained output capacity of 220,000 tonnes per annum of lithium, or 645 tonnes per day. This includes the possibility of planned maintenance shutdowns and an overall lithium metal recovery of 80%.
Production leading up to today’s announcement has delivered an average of 541 tonnes per day, which represents 84% of the company’s estimated output capacity.
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Production in March to date has averaged 612 tonnes per day, or 95% of capacity with a maximum of 705 tonnes produced within a 24-hour period.
The plant’s efficiency is only slightly behind the optimal recovery rate of 80%, and is currently sitting at 78%.
Altura’s managing director James Brown said he was extremely pleased with the company’s milestone.
‘In less than two years we have taken this project from the first sod-turning to full production, which is a monumental achievement and testament of the hard work and efforts of the entire Altura team.’
Shouldn’t the Altura Mining share price have moved more?
Today’s announcement is good news for Altura shareholders, as it is no easy task developing a commercially viable mine.
But if the movement in today’s price has made you a bit sceptical, then your intuition has served you well.
Now that Altura has formally announced it has become a commercial lithium producer, veteran investors are likely waiting to see what the cashflows from the company look like before getting back in.
A bearish looking lithium price has probably weighed down the price today too and should be something to watch as Altura begins looking for more buyers.
For Money Morning
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