Pilbara Minerals joins forces with Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer

Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project. Image: Pilbara Minerals

Pilbara Minerals has received a $20 million investment by China’s largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).

The company sold 66.7 million fully paid ordinary shares to the Hong Kong-based CATL at the agreed price of 30 Australian cents per share in exchange for an 8.5 per cent stake in Pilbara Minerals.

This is part one of CATL’s $55 million investment in the Western Australian company, for which a share subscription agreement was executed in September.

Part two of the CATL placement for $35 million is still conditional, subject to Pilbara Minerals’ shareholder approval, as the number of shares being sold is above the company’s existing capacity rules.

Pilbara Minerals intends to use the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet as the Pilgangoora project ramps up to stage one spodumene concentrate nameplate capacity.

The company was previously seeking partners that would enhance its value as a company in March this year to fund its Pilgangoora lithium tantalum stage three project expansion.

CATL had already indicated its willingness to commercially support Pilbara, purchasing its spodumene concentrate product and meeting Pilbara Minerals’ criteria for a partner that supported its strength and growth aspirations.

The proposed Pilgangoora expansion would increase the site’s annual processing capacity to 7.5 million tonnes.

Pilbara will be hosting a general meeting to seek shareholder approval for this second stage of the investment with CATL.

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