MinRes sells Pilbara stake

MinRes sells Pilbara stake
Mining News Pro - The share price of lithium producer Pilbara Minerals fell on Monday, after shareholder Mineral Resources announced the sale of its 5.4% shareholding in the company for A$328-million.

Mineral Resources said on Monday that the sale was executed via a fully underwritten accelerated block trade offered to institutional investors, with the company to apply the cash proceeds to its planned A$745-million capital expenditure programme, which will include the development of the Wonmunna iron-ore mine in the Utah Point hub, increasing production at the Yilgarn hub, and investing in its mining services division.

Mineral Resources acquired its stake in Pilbara Minerals in 2016 as part of an agreement to relinquish offtake rights and a royalty that the company held over Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora project. The stake was worth an estimated A$50-million at the time.

“Mineral Resources is delighted with the share price value delivered by Pilbara Minerals’ development of Pilgangoora but believes it is time to redirect this investment into the company’s own growth projects, including in the hard-rock lithium and iron-ore sectors,” the ASX-listed company told shareholders.

Meanwhile, Pilbara Minerals announced a 39% increase in the measured, indicated and inferred resource estimate at its Pilgangoora project, which now stands at 309-million tonnes, grading 1.14% lithium oxide and 105 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, for some 3.5-million tonnes of lithium oxide and 71.7-million pounds of tantalum pentoxide.

The measured and indicated resource increased by 59%, to 210.2-million tonnes, containing 2.46-million tonnes of lithium oxide and 47.7-million pounds of tantalum pentoxide.

Pilbara noted that the upgraded mineral resource included all of the results from the 2021 exploration and development drilling campaign adjacent to the historical Altura tenement boundary, together with the integration of the mineral resource for the former Altura Lithium operations acquired earlier this year.

“This landmark resource upgrade is another clear indication of Pilgangoora’s position as the world’s premier hard-rock lithium asset. The scale of the endowment is quite remarkable, with the integration of the adjoining Ngungaju resource, combined with highly successful development and drilling programmes, taking our resource inventory well and truly to the next level,” said MD and CEO Ken Brinsden on Monday.

“We are looking forward to completing an updated ore reserve next month that will underpin operations for many decades to come. Against the backdrop of surging global demand for lithium raw materials, Pilgangoora is incredibly well positioned to play a pivotal role in the accelerating global energy transformation.”

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