This morning, Altura Mining Limited (ASX: AJM) requested Australian Securities Exchange to place the suspension on its securities with immediate effect due to the pending release of capital raising announcement.
The shares of the company have been placed in a trading halt since 1 February 2019 and are expected to remain suspended till the earlier of 8 February 2019 or the release of an announcement as stated above.
Let’s take a look at the company’s activity report for the quarter ended 31 December 2018.
Altura has flagged the shipping of four cargoes totalling 24,000 dry metric tonnes to Chinese based converters which were in line or exceeded customer expectation with grades as high as 6.2% Li2O. During the entire quarter, the company’s point of focus has been on increasing process throughput and getting the fines concentrate plant ready to commission.
The continuous development has been witnessed by the company in its Altura Lithium Project, reporting lithium concentrate production of 25,794 wmt including 6,427 tonnes of low-grade material produced during commissioning.
Transportation of spodumene concentrate is taken care of by the company’s designated logistics contractor Qube Bulk who is responsible for loading spodumene concentrate from the mine to the purpose-built storage shed at Port Hedland. Subsequently, cargoes are assembled by Qube and loaded to the vessels at the port of Port Hedland.
During the quarter Qube hauled 19,000 tonnes to the storage facility from the mine site and had loaded 24,000 tonnes to the (4) four cargo vessels for dispatch to China with the last cargo departing Port Hedland on 27 December 2018.
On the grades front, the company has delivered an average grade of 6.1% Li2O, 1.04% Fe2O3 and 0.63% Mica to provide an excellent market product. Moreover, the average overall pricing for the quarter, including the trial cargo, was US$701 dmt with the average price of US$722 per dry metric tonne CIF for the cargoes contracted during the quarter.
In November, Altura announced a new binding offtake agreement for a minimum of 70,000 tonnes annually with Ganfeng Lithium, a leading global lithium producer. The agreement has been inked through the subsidiary of Ganfeng, GFL International Co. which will see the supply commencing from 2019 until the end of 2021. Further, the terms of the BOA reportedly includes a US$11 million prepayment on the 2019 shipped cargoes to GFL.
The company has also revised an agreement with its current offtake partner Shaanxi J&R Optimum Energy Co., Ltd (JRO) under which the partner will reduce its current binding offtake agreement’s commitment to a minimum of 50,000 tpa from 2019 onwards compared to the previous commitment of a minimum of 100,000 tpa. The changes provide Altura with more flexibility as JRO continues to work on its restructuring. Also, Altura has been given an alternative to expand its current customer’s base by removing the right of JRO to additional tonnage produced.
Currently, under voluntary suspension, AJM last traded at $0.145 on 31 January 2019. The stock has witnessed a negative return of 60.81% over the past 12 months.
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