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Piedmont Lithium to fully fund IronRidge Ewoyaa Lithium Project

Published by
Global Mining Review,


IronRidge Resources Ltd has announced that, further to the announcement of 1 July 2021, the conditions precedent to the execution of the binding agreement (the agreement) with Piedmont Lithium Inc., have now been satisfied to fully fund and fast track the company's Ewoyaa Lithium Project through to production.

Highlights

  • Conditions precedent satisfied: Piedmont to fully fund and fast track development of the industry standout Ewoyaa Project in Ghana for US$102 million.
  • Piedmont commits a further £720 000 (approximately US$1 million) and increases stake to 9.91% via placing of a further 2.88 million shares at 25p.
  • Ghana to benefit from becoming the first West African lithium-producing country.
  • IronRidge increases net cash position to approximately US$28 million for future growth initiatives.
  • Exploration, resource drilling and studies ongoing at the project.

Vincent Mascolo, CEO of IronRidge, said: “Today's completion marks a pivotal time in IronRidge's development of Ewoyaa; from initial discovery to being fully funded through to production.

“We are delighted to be in a position to confidently advance the project, whilst working alongside Piedmont towards first lithium production in Ghana.

“I'd like to thank our new partner Piedmont for increasing its initial equity investment and demonstrating the clear belief in Ewoyaa and IronRidge's wider Cape Coast Lithium Portfolio. I look forward to working with Keith and his team in this exciting period ahead as we bring the project towards production.

“This landmark investment showcases and vindicates IronRidge's successful exploration strategy, and we are excited to deliver further on the de-merged gold projects in our portfolio.”

Keith Phillips, President and CEO of Piedmont, added: “We are pleased to have concluded these transactions and look forward to partnering with IronRidge to maximise the potential of the Cape Coast Lithium Portfolio. Ewoyaa is a high-quality asset with the potential for low capital and operating costs, and the broader portfolio offers tremendous exploration upside.

“As a company seeking to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future, we look forward to providing a pathway to production at this industry-leading project.”

Summary of commercial terms

Piedmont to earn-in to up to 50% of IronRidge's Cape Coast Lithium Portfolio (CCLP) in Ghana, including Ewoyaa, in the following stages;

Stage 1: Investment into IronRidge Resource Ltd (approximately US$15 million).

  • Piedmont has subscribed for 54 million new ordinary shares in the company at a price of 20p per share (£10.8 million; US$15 million) with a lock in provision preventing the sale of the subscription shares for 12 months from admission of the subscription shares to trading on AIM.
  • Piedmont has committed a further £720 000 (US$1 million) increasing its stake to 9.91% via placing of a further 2.88 million shares at 25p.

Stage 2: Regional exploration and DFS funding (US$17 million)

  • Piedmont to earn up to an initial 22.5% of CCLP at completion of sole funding comprising:
  • US$5 million towards an accelerated regional exploration programme to enhance the current Ewoyaa resource.
  • US$12 million towards completing the definitive feasibility studies (DFS) for the project:
    • The minimum ‘DFS criteria’ is to deliver a 1.5 million tpy to 2 million tpy run-of-mine (ROM) operation for a 10 – 8-year life of mine (LOM) respectively.
    • Any cost overruns or savings will be shared equally between IronRidge and Piedmont.

Stage 3: CAPEX funding (US$70 million)

Piedmont to earn a further 27.5% of CCLP via the sole funding of:

  • CAPEX of US$70 million for the Ewoyaa Project:
    • To deliver a 1.5 million – 2 million tpy ROM operation for a 10 – 8-year LOM respectively.
    • Any cost overruns or savings will be shared equally.

Other key terms

  • If the DFS criteria of Stage 2 is achieved and Piedmont elects by mutual agreement not to proceed to Stage 3, Piedmont will forfeit its Stage 2 interest.
  • Piedmont is entitled to:
    • Appoint one director to the IronRidge board on completion while maintaining an equity interest above or equal to 9% in IronRidge.
    • An offtake agreement for 50% of the annual lithium spodumene concentrate (SC6%) production.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/31082021/piedmont-lithium-to-fully-fund-ironridge-ewoyaa-lithium-project/

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African mining news Lithium mining news