03/06/2021 - 17:57

Neometals exits Mt Marion lithium offtake to focus on tech

03/06/2021 - 17:57

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Neometals will focus on lithium recycling and new technologies after divesting its option on 30 per cent of the spodumene offtake from the Mt Marion lithium project in WA for $30 million. The windfall bolsters the company’s balance sheet ahead of some significant core project investment decisions over the next year or so.

Neometals has sold its option on long-term offtake from the Mt Marion lithium operation in WA. Credit: File

Neometals will focus on lithium recycling and new technologies after divesting its option on 30 per cent of the spodumene offtake from the Mt Marion lithium project in WA for $30 million. The windfall bolsters the company’s balance sheet ahead of some significant core project investment decisions over the next year or so.

Neometals retained the life-of-mine offtake option for up to 57,000 tonnes per annum of Mt Marion 6 per cent lithium-carbonate spodumene concentrate when it sold its equity interest in the project to Ganfeng Lithium Co and Mineral Resources early in 2019.

Assessment of downstream processing options outside China – specifically in WA and India – have been ongoing for Neometals, which is now conducting a “strategy review” on the mooted India lithium refinery in the wake of the offtake option sale.

The debt-free company says the Mt Marion option proceeds will take its cash balance to more than $100 million.

Neometals’ Managing Director Chris Reed said: Neometals will maintain its involvement in the lithium supply chain through the recycling of production scrap and end-of-life lithium batteries, and portfolio of lithium focused technologies.”

The company says it will continue to advance its suite of lithium-related processing technologies, including the patented ELi technology developed for purification and electrolysis of lithium chloride solutions to produce lithium hydroxide. Rights to the technology are owned 70 per cent by Neometals and 30 per cent by WA metals production and services company, Mineral Resources.

Neometals says most of the world’s lithium production and resources are derived from solar concentration of lithium chloride bearing brines by traditional carbonate and causticising processes.

Mt Marion was described as a transformative asset for Neometals, which was among the ASX-listed first-movers into the lithium space more than a decade ago.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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