SMM5, March 16 / PRNewswire-FirstCall-Asianet /-Australian mining company Argosy Minerals executives said Tuesday that they plan to use the production of its pilot plant at the Argentine lithium carbonate mine to attract financing for its commercial operations at the site.
Jerko Zuvela, managing director of the company, said in an interview during the LME Asia seminar in London that its Argosy's Rincon project, based in northern Argentina, would begin producing 500tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year next month. He also said the company had not yet signed any off-take agreement for lithium carbonate. Instead, Argosy wants to attract companies to sign long-term supply contracts with them. It is reported that the company's third phase of lithium carbonate annual production capacity or 1500 tons equivalent.
But Zuvela added, "Unfortunately, the big banks are not funding any of the company's lithium projects, whether it's hard rock or brine, so our affordability is the leverage we have for financing. This is the capital expenditure of our business stage operation.
Zuvela also said Rincon's initial cargo would be shipped from the Chilean port of Antofagasta to northern Asia, noting that the relevant off-take agreement was still under negotiation. He added that these end-users include battery makers and carmakers. When asked if companies with the terminals could take stakes in the Rinco project, Zuvela said Argosy was already in discussions with China, South Korea and Japan.
Zuvela did not specify how much it was seeking, but hoped to find the right financing for business expansion by the end of 2018 before making a corresponding production acceleration plan.
Zuvela added that the terms of project financing from South Korea and Japan were higher than those offered in China, but that Chinese companies were more active and offered to make advances soon.
Zuvela said trading companies had so far shown no strong interest in the project.
Cao Yuuqin, (SMM) of Shanghai Colored net, translated from http://www.mining.com/web/argosy-seeks-project-financing-argentina-lithium-site-pilot-sales-exec/
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