IM Lithium News in Brief 20 – 26 January

By Myles McCormick
Published: Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Galaxy receives capex details for Mount Cattlin operations; Orocobre raises A$85m to finance Olaroz debt; Nissan chooses UK factory for £26.5m Li-ion battery investment.

ASX-listed Galaxy Resources Ltd has received a capital expenditure schedule totalling Australian dollar (A$) 7m ($4.89m*) from General Mining Corp Ltd, the operator of its Mount Cattlin spodumene and tantalum project near Ravensthorpe, Western Australia (WA), where it intends to restart operations this quarter.

The A$7m figure includes purchase orders for plant equipment, fabrication, engineering and installation services that had been made as of 31 December 2015.

Mount Cattlin is expected to reach fines circuit commissioning in March and coarse circuit commissioning in June before making its first shipment of concentrate in July and achieving full optimisation in December this year.

Orocobre Ltd called a trading halt on 20 January ahead of the completion of a placement of A$85m on 22 January.

The company issued around 40,500 shares to domestic and international institutional and sophisticated investors at an issue price of A$2.10/share.

The funds will be used primarily to finance its Olaroz project in Argentina, where it is currently ramping up lithium carbonate production, including principal and interest payments due in March and September this year.

Also listed on the ASX, Lithium Australia NL has "completed the formalities" of an A$4m placement to Lanstead Capital LP, which represents part of an A$6.55m placement package at a price of $0.14/share announced earlier this month. .

Lithium Australia’s CEO, Adrian Griffin, noted that Lanstead is now the company’s first institutional investor.

Separately, the company said it is set to commence exploration work at its Ravensthorpe project in southwest WA.

The Ravensthorpe project is situated on the Cocanarup pegmatite field, 20km outside the town of Ravensthorpe, and covers an area of 70km2, including a 20km-long structural trend the company has described as "highly prospective" for lithium pegmatites.

Metalicity Ltd has begun lithium exploration at its Pilgangoora South project in the Pilbara region of WA, comprising the Turner and Stannum projects.

The company said that exploration work was sufficiently funded by A$5m cash held in the bank.

In Tanzania, ASX-listed Liontown Resouces Ltd has intersected high-grade lithium and tantalum mineralisation during trenching work at its Mohanga project in the central part of the East African country.

The company said that the results confirm the potential of the project to host "significant lithium mineralisation" and have given it the confidence to progress exploration activities.

Mohanga was acquired by Lionstown last year and contains a number of historical pegmatite-hosted lithium occurrences, the only reported in Tanzania.

Outside of Australia, meanwhile, AIM-listed Bacanora Minerals Ltd, currently developing the Sonora lithium project in northern Mexico, has entered into a consultancy agreement with a private company to investigate procurement options for the company’s lithium products.

The 18-month agreement will cost Bacanora a quarterly fee of £57,000 ($81,320) and 1m share options, which can be exercised for a price of £0.77.

TSX-V-listed Nevada Sunrise Gold Corp. has entered into a letter agreement to grant a 50% working interest in its Gemini lithium project in Esmeralda County, Nevada to Eureka Resources Inc.

Under the agreement, Eureka will gain the right to acquire a 50% stake in the project by reimbursing Nevada Sunrise for 50% of the site’s acquisition costs of around $85,000 and by issuing it 500,000 common shares.

Nevada Sunrise acquired the site through purchases in November and December 2015.

Durango Resources Inc. has entered into a right of first refusal on a hot spring property in northern British Columbia, Canada, which it said holds historic lithium values.

The site has been given the moniker "The Force Awakens" and is located near to Durango’s Mayner's Fortune property.

"The project is in an area that the Company is very familiar with and allows for easy low cost sampling and exploration so Durango is looking very closely at this lithium property," Durango’s CEO, Marcy Kiesman, said

Dajin Resources Corp., listed on the TSX-V and Frankfurt exchanges, said that a preliminary structural study has now been completed at its Teels Marsh project in Mineral County, Nevada.

The study, which made use of gravity, magnetic and geochemical data already collected, involved the development of a new structural model of the basin and identified drill targets to test favourable aquifers that may contain lithium-rich brines, the company said.

TSX-V-listed Pure Energy Minerals Ltd said it had successfully drilled a well to 1,500 feet (456 metres) during the winter drill programme at its Clayton Valley South lithium brine project in Esmeralda County, Nevada.

Samples from the programme, which used a rotary coring technique, have been sent for geochemical analyses – to better understand lithium content of the solids infilling the basin – and porosity testing – to better understand the fluid content of the sediments – while drilling has commenced on another well.

In downstream news, Japanese automotive manufacturer Nissan Motor Co. Ltd has said it will produce its future generation electric vehicle (EV) batteries from its plant in Sunderland, UK, in an investment valued at £26.5m.

Nissan’s Sunderland-based lithium-ion battery production facility is the largest of its type in Europe. It will now provide battery modules for the company’s Nissan LEAF hatchback and e-NV200 electric van.

Nissan sold 43,651 units of the LEAF model worldwide in 2015, with Europe accounting for 15,630 units.

*Conversions made January 2016.