Altura Mining Limited (ASX: AJM) has paused trading on Australian Securities Exchange. In the announcement dated 1 February 2019, lithium miner Altura Mining Limited stated that the company’s securities are placed on a trading halt due to the pending release of an announcement regarding a capital raising.
The trading halt is reportedly expected to remain in place until the earlier of 5 February 2019 or the release of an announcement.
In the recently released quarterly report, the company confirmed the shipping completion of four cargoes totaling 24,000 dry metric tonnes to Chinese based converters with the last cargo departing Port Hedland on 27 December 2018. The company has delivered greater than customer’s expectation with grades as high as 6.2% Li2O and averaging 1.04% Fe2O3, 6.1% Li2O and 0.63% Mica.
During the quarter, Altura continued to focus on improving its process throughput and completing the commissioning of the fines concentrate plant. Stage 1 production from the Project has a target nameplate capacity of 220,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of 6% grade lithium oxide (Li2O), as per the report.
The company intends to report substantial growth in production during the current March 2019 quarter which it believes will culminate in reaching nameplate capacity of Stage 1 to the earliest. And once the nameplate target capacity is reached, the company plans to dispatch regular monthly shipments of at least one cargo and moving to two cargoes every next month.
Altura has achieved stabilization in performance improvement with its plant now running at approximately 12,000 tonnes per month rate of spodumene concentrate over weekly periods, advancing on track to the nameplate target of 18,000 tonnes per month. Consequently, the company reported that the grade of both coarse and fine product is well in line with the target of 6% Li2O.
On 9 October 2018, the company has departed cargo onboard vessel “MV Clipper Tenacious” loaded with circa 5,000 dry metric tonnes of spodumene concentrate.
As per the report, the average pricing for the quarter ended 31st December 2018 was US$722 per dry metric tonne (dmt) for the contract cargoes and the average overall pricing for the quarter, including the trial cargo, was US$701 dmt. The company has witnessed a strong demand for its quality products, such as concentrate, despite facing a price set back in lithium oxide.
New binding offtake agreement for a minimum of 70,000 tonnes annually was signed by the company with Ganfeng Lithium, a leading global lithium producer. The terms of binding offtake agreement include the supply of a minimum of 70,000 tpa from 2019 until the end of 2021 and further provides for two potential five-year extensions through to 2031.
As at 31st December 2018, Altura’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $9.04 million.
AJM shares are on a trading halt as at 1 February 2019. However, the stock last traded at $0.145 with a market capitalization of $263.95 million. The stock has witnessed a negative performance change of 60.81% over the past 12 months.
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