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Why the shares of lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLS) surged 7.5% higher today

The Kidman Resources Ltd (ASX: KDR) share price may be having a day to forget on Monday, but not all lithium miners are in the red.

One lithium miner that has had a strong start to the week is Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS). In early afternoon trade its shares are up 5% to 80.2 cents. At one stage they were up as much as 7.5%.

Why are Pilbara Minerals’ shares storming higher today?

This morning Pilbara Minerals announced that it is on track for its first shipment of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project this month after making further strong progress with the production ramp-up.

The release explains that the Pilgangoora Stage 1 concentrator is achieving strong production throughput for both coarse and fines circuits. The combined tonnages are averaging above 500 tonnes per day, which management advises are in line with the planned throughput levels expected at this point of ramp-up.

Furthermore, both circuits are achieving exceptional product quality, confirming the ability of the project to deliver a premium quality product to world markets.

What’s next?

Management expects to deliver a minimum of 5,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate ready for ship-loading in Port Hedland from around September 20.

After which, the focus will then be on growing production and stockpiling concentrate (both on site and in Port Hedland) for subsequent shipments to its premier customer group.

Should you invest?

I think this is a major positive for the company and means it will be generating meaningful revenues imminently.

And if lithium prices do not plunge, as many have predicted, then Pilbara Minerals and peers including Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) and Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) could prove to be great investments at current levels.

However, where lithium prices go over the next 12 months is hard to predict. While I’m optimistic that demand will continue to grow quicker than supply, it may be worth waiting to see if that is the case before investing.

Until then, you might want to consider this explosive growth share which has pulled back in recent weeks and could be a bargain buy now.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Galaxy Resources Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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