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2 minutes read

Lepidico on drive to raise N$70.1m to fund phase 1 activities in Namibia and UAE

Lepidico is on a drive to raise about N$70.1 million (A$5.72 million) before expenses from selling 1.9 billion new shares to complete Phase 1 project financing, including strategic partner and lender due diligence.

The company issued a pro-rata Renounceable Entitlements Offer of fully paid ordinary shares based on one new share for every four existing shares held by April 10, 2024, with a one-for-two free attaching option. 

The funds will be used to complete the financing arrangement for the integrated Phase 1 project, including lender due diligence and securing a strategic partner to transition Phase 1 into construction and position it as an early mover for this new lithium price cycle.

In Namibia, Phase 1 involves redeveloping the brownfield Rubicon and Helikon mines and building a new concentrator at the Karibib Lithium Project, costing US$63 million.

In the United Arab Emirates, Phase 1 involves the construction of a US$203 million chemical plant at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi to process ore from the Karibib Lithium Project.

The company will process ore from the brownfield open pit using conventional flotation. The lepidolite-rich concentrate will be transported to the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi for conversion using the L‑Max® and LOH‑Max® technologies. The lithium hydroxide will then be shipped to the offtaker partner, Traxys’ customers. 

The conversion plant has a concentrated capacity of 6.9 tonnes per hour, producing up to 5,700 tpa of lithium hydroxide. 

Phase 1 output is estimated at between 4,000 t and 5,000 tpa of nominal battery-grade lithium product, along with a suite of high-value and bulk by-products. There is no solid process waste, making Phase 1 a highly sustainable operation.

Lepidico says Phase 1 has been substantially de-risked for a development stage project, with four successively larger pilot trials undertaken in Perth, which informed the process design criteria supporting the completed Front-End Engineering & Design (FEED) for both the concentrator and chemical plant. 

The company also said Phase 1 has received all approvals in Namibia and is advanced as regulation allows in Abu Dhabi with approval received to start initial construction works. 

Additionally, Lepidico says capital reduction initiatives for both the upstream Karibib operations in Namibia and the chemical plant in Abu Dhabi are advancing well. 

According to Lepidico, negotiations are advancing for collaborations on previously unidentified potential large-scale lithium mica deposit evaluations. 

“Testwork programs have been designed and are expected to start at the owner’s expense in the June 2024 quarter. Consideration is being given to a joint venture structure for evaluation, development, and operation,” the company says.

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