Altura to expand lithium project with Chinese backing

The Altura lithium mine showing processing plant and product stockpiles. Image: Altura Mining

Altura Mining is on track to continue the expansion of its lithium project at Pilgangoora in Western Australia after strengthening a partnership with China’s Ningbo Shanshan.

The Chinese battery company is increasing its stake in Altura with a $22.4 million injection that will guide the ongoing development of the Pilbara site.

Altura plans to put the funds towards the continued development and expansion of the lithium project, in addition to corporate costs and general working capital.

Shanshan a major supplier of lithium-ion based battery materials such as cathodes, anodes and electrolytes will increase its stake in Altura from 11.83 per cent to 19.4 per cent as a result of the placement, becoming Altura’s largest shareholder. 

Altura managing director James Brown said the placement between the two companies significantly strengthened their outlook as “key suppliers” in the growing global battery market.

“Our relationship with Shanshan is strong and open and we are continuing to formalise a strategic plan of supporting each other commencing with lithium concentrate supply,” Brown said.

Altura will issue 200 million ordinary shares to Shanshan subsidiary Shanshan Forever International at a price of 11.2 cents per share, representing a 1.8 per cent premium on Altura’s last closing price of 11 cents per share on July 19.

The company, meanwhile, reported its largest single cargo shipment to date in June 2019, delivering 13,700 dry metric tonnes of lithium concentrate product in a month.

It also reported that it is achieving daily throughput rates of up to 90 per cent of its 220,000 tonne stage one nameplate capacity.

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