First bids for MinRes Wodgina lithium sale set for next month

The Wodgina operation. Image: MinRes.

Mineral Resources expects to receive non-binding bids for the sale of up to 49 per cent of its Wodgina lithium project in Western Australia this August.

MinRes first announced its plans to sell a minority stake in the site in April this year. An official transaction announcement is expected to follow the August bid by the end of 2018. Financial firms Macquarie Capital and Gilbert and Tobin are to assist and manage the sale process.

The announcement clarifies an investor call made on July 19 that saw the company’s shares spike by 7.5 per cent on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). MinRes states that it will only enter into the minority sale if “it is in the best interests of the company’s shareholders”.

In a statement released yesterday, the company said development at Wodgina was developing as expected and that it had forecast capital costs of $610 million, including the development of a 750,000t-capacity crushing plant.

Once the three-train plant is completed the company expects annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $600 million based on an ore price of $US960/t ($1292/t) at 6 per cent lithium.

Last week, MinRes entered into an agreement to acquire the struggling Koolyanobbing iron ore operation in the Yilgarn from Cleveland-Cliffs.

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