Lithium Producer, Altura Mining Limited (ASX: AJM)
has released its quarterly activity report for 2019 March quarter. During the March quarter, the company was focusing to complete the ramp-up of production and stabilise process throughput with the fines plant.
During the quarter, the company declared commercial production from its 100% owned Altura Lithium Mine, following the delivery of significant increases in the lithium concentrate output and overall metal recovery from both the coarse (Dense Medium Separation) and fines (flotation) plants in the weeks preceding the declaration.
Ore mined increased by 15% in the March quarter as compared to the previous quarter. As per the company’s announcement, the open pit mining areas have now opened up to an area large enough to permit efficient load and haul activities. The mined grade for the March quarter was positive with an average grade of 1.16% Lithium oxide.
The production during the quarter was boosted by the ramp up of the fines concentrate plant which was commissioned through December 2018. A 26% contribution of fines to overall concentrate in January increased to a 47% contribution in March with an overall 38% contribution for the quarter.
During the quarter, the company shipped two cargoes totalling 14,770 dmt to Chinese based converters with a third cargo of around 8,000 dmt loaded in the first week of April with all cargoes meeting contractual specifications. All cargo has been in line with or exceeded customer expectation, with a weighted average of 5.9% Li2O, 1.5% Fe2O3, 1.1% Mica and 5.8% moisture. The average pricing received for these cargoes was US$601 per dmt.
During the March quarter, the company undertook a capital raising which included both a Placement and an SPP Offer that has raised a combined total of A$38.5 Mn before issue costs. Moreover, the company conducted a Securities Purchase Plan (SPP) Offer to provide eligible shareholders with the opportunity to acquire shares and options on the same terms as the Placement
. The size of the SPP Offer was initially set at A$5 million, however, in response to strong demand from shareholders, the offer was increased in two stages to A$14 million. At the close of the offer period, Altura had received applications greater than the A$14 million limit which resulted in a scale-back of individual applications greater than A$10,000. The funds from these capital raisings are being used for the commissioning and ramp-up costs associated with the production and sale of lithium concentrate, development costs, interest payments under the loan note facility and working capital purposes.
As at 31 March 2019, the company had net cash used in operating activities of A$673k, net cash used in investing activities of A$28,805K and net cash from financing activities of A$37,979k. At the end of March quarter, the company had cash and cash equivalent of A$17,531k.
AJM’s stock last traded at $0.110 with a market capitalization of circa $244.43 million as on 29 April 2019.
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