Mitsubishi inks deal to get Mt Cattlin going again
Ravensthorpe’s mothballed Mt Cattlin mine is a step closer to a kickstart after Japanese giant Mitsubishi Corporation banked exclusive rights to sell the mine’s production.
The mine’s new operator, General Mining, said Mitsubishi would act as principal buyer of the mine’s spodumene concentrate, with General paid by Mitsubishi for all sales for the next four years.
Mitsubishi was the main buyer of spodumene from the mine, previously owned by Galaxy Resources, before Galaxy mothballed the project in 2012 resulting in a major share price collapse.
Galaxy and General Mining, which is backed by Perth dealmaker Michael Fotios, locked in a $25 million deal in July to re-start mining, with General required to spend $7 million on the project before March.
Galaxy and General have split ownership of the mine.
Under the new agreement, Mitsubishi would be required to use “reasonable endeavours” to obtain the best selling-delivered price possible for the mine’s spodumene concentrate, a statement said.
“Mitsubishi will have priority to the company’s production over spot buyers, provided it at least matches the spot price,” it said.
Galaxy put Mt Cattlin on care and maintenance in 2012 because of delays with the ramp-up of its lithium processing plant in China, which it sold to Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries for $US173.2 million in April.
The mine life of Mt Cattlin is 18 years, according to Galaxy.