Bat­tery deal gives miner boost

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

Al­tura Min­ing has struck a $41.6 mil­lion deal with a Chi­nese bat­tery man­u­fac­turer to help pay for the devel­op­ment of its Pil­gan­goora lithium project in the Pil­bara.

Un­der the deal, Shaanxi J&R Op­ti­mum En­ergy will be is­sued 306 mil­lion new shares in Al­tura priced at 13.6 cents in a two-tranche place­ment.

The deal will give J&R Op­ti­mum a 19.9 per cent stake in Al­tura and a seat at the com­pany’s board ta­ble.

J&R Op­ti­mum has 18 bat­tery plants ei­ther in op­er­a­tion or un­der con­struc­tion across sev­eral Chi­nese prov­inces and is listed on the Shen­zhen Stock Ex­change.

Al­tura man­ag­ing di­rec­tor James Brown said the out­come of the place­ment was an ex­cel­lent re­sult for both com­pa­nies’ fu­ture growth.

He said the trans­ac­tion sig­nif­i­cantly de-risked the Pil­gan­goora project and pro­vided a strong lead to debt fund­ing groups as Al­tura worked to­wards fi­nal­is­ing the com­plete fi­nan­cial pack­age for the project.

J&R Op­ti­mum re­cently ac­quired the Op­ti­mum Nano group with whom Al­tura signed a non-bind­ing mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing ear­lier this year to take a min­i­mum of 100,000 tonnes per an­num of lithium spo­dumene con­cen­trate. Al­tura also has a bind­ing off­take agree­ment with Chi­nese group Lion­ergy to take a min­i­mum 100,000 tonnes of spo­dumene a year for an ini­tial five years.

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