Battery manufacturer eyeing lithium takeover

Battery manufacturer eyeing lithium takeover

Thu, 15/03/2018 - 14:41
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Blasting

Blasting operations at Altura Mining's Pilgangoora lithium operation in the Pilbara. Photo: Altura Mining

One of China’s biggest battery manufacturers is in discussions for a controlling stake in Altura Mining, the Perth-based lithium miner has confirmed.

Altura announced to the ASX today that negotiations were ongoing with Shaanxi J&R Optimum Energy Co, regarding a potential control transaction.

However, the miner said the discussions remained confidential and were incomplete, indicative and non-binding.

Any proposal would be subject to conditions, including regulatory approvals in both China and Australia.

“At this stage there is no certainty that any transaction will proceed, and if so, on what terms,” Altura said in its statement to the ASX.

Altura said it would keep the market updated with any developments.

Shenzhen-listed Shaanxi is already Altura’s largest shareholder with a 19.3 per cent stake in the company.

Shaanxi and Altura also have offtake agreements in place for around 100,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate, or half of the production from Altura’s Pilgangoora lithium operation, through its subsidiary Optimum Nano.

Altura is currently in the commissioning phase at its Pilgangoora mine, which it expects to be producing spodumene concentrate by the end of the first quarter of 2018, with first sales to follow shortly after.