10/07/2017 - 10:30

Neometals to keep Mt Marion stake, spin-off assets

10/07/2017 - 10:30

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Neometals will hold on to its minority stake in the Mt Marion lithium mine after failing to find a buyer, and plans to spin-out its technology and titanium assets into a new company.

Neometals to keep Mt Marion stake, spin-off assets
Neometals managing director Chris Reed. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Neometals will hold on to its minority stake in the Mt Marion lithium mine after failing to find a buyer, and plans to spin-out its technology and titanium assets into a new company.

Neometals was hoping to sell its 13.8 per cent stake in Mt Marion for about $125 million, and was relying on interest from third parties after the mine’s joint venture partners, Mineral Resources and China-based Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium, declined their pre-emptive rights.

But today, the Perth-based company said the offer has now closed without a compliant offer having been received.

“The company has now determined that the retention of the project equity is in the best interests of shareholders’ given the improved offtake pricing structure and levels, and the achievement of significant project milestones in the intervening period,” Neometals said.

“The company believes that these factors have materially enhanced the project’s intrinsic value.”

Neometals also revealed plans to demerge its technology and titanium assets, and spin them out into a new ASX-listed company.

Neometals owns the Barrambie titanium deposit between Mount Magnet and Wiluna, while its  subsidiary Alphamet owns the ‘Neomet Process’, an energy-efficient process designed to extract valuable metals out of base, light and precious metal oxides and sulphides, intermediate and waste feeds.

Managing director Chris Reed said Mt Marion’s recent production performance and better pricing levels made it a compelling case for Neometals retaining its stake and offtake rights.

Shares in Neometals were 1.6 per cent higher to 31 cents each at 10:30am.

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