Ex­pert to re­solve lithium deal dis­pute

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

Pil­bara Min­er­als looks set to avoid a po­ten­tially costly and pro­longed le­gal dis­pute with Min­eral Re­sources over an off­take deal it made with China’s Gen­eral Lithium.

MinRes ar­gues it was de­nied a pre­vi­ously held right to match any deal for the sale of lithium con­cen­trate pro­duced from Pil­bara Min­er­als’ Pil­gan­goora project.

It launched le­gal ac­tion against Pil­bara Min­er­als in the WA Supreme Court, but last Tues­day PLS said it had se­cured a stay of court pro­ceed­ings.

“The con­se­quence of these or­ders is that the dis­pute be­tween the par­ties over the va­lid­ity of PLS’ sale no­tice will now be heard and re­solved be­fore an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert in ac­cor­dance with the con­trac­tu­ally agreed terms of the Pil­gan­goora As­set Sale Agree­ment,” Pil­bara Min­er­als said in a state­ment.

PLS said an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert had been ap­pointed to re­solve the dis­pute and both par­ties were in the process of fi­nal­is­ing writ­ten sub­mis­sions and pro­vid­ing them to the ex­pert.

“Should the ex­pert determine that the com­pany’s sale no­tice is valid, as pre­vi­ously ad­vised, MIN will have un­til Oc­to­ber 31 to make an elec­tion as to whether it wishes to pur­chase PLS’ prod­uct on no less favourable terms than those of­fered by Gen­eral Lithium, or take a 2.5 per cent roy­alty,” PLS said.

“In ei­ther sce­nario (that is, whether the sale of spo­dumene con­cen­trate is to Gen­eral Lithium or MIN), PLS should achieve a no less favourable eco­nomic out­come.”

MinRes en­tered the emerg­ing Pil­bara lithium sec­tor in June through the ac­qui­si­tion of Global Ad­vanced Met­als’ Wodg­ina tan­ta­lum mine.

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