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IronRidge Resources (IRR)

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Tuesday 31 August, 2021

IronRidge Resources

Piedmont Completes Lithium Transaction - US$102m

RNS Number : 1851K
IronRidge Resources Limited
31 August 2021
 

31 August 2021

 

Landmark Investment Conditions Satisfied

Piedmont Increases Stake to 9.9%

Fully Funded to Production

Ewoyaa Lithium Project, Ghana

 

IronRidge Resources Limited (AIM: IRR, "IronRidge" or the "Company") is pleased to announce 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. ("Piedmont") , have now been satisfied to fully fund and fast track the Company's Ewoyaa Lithium Project ("Ewoyaa" or "the Project") through to production.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

Ø Conditions precedent satisfied - Piedmont to fully fund and fast track development of the industry standout Ewoyaa Project in Ghana for US$102m

Ø Piedmont commits a further £720,000 (c. US$1m) and increases stake to 9.91% via placing of a further 2.88m shares at 25p

Ø Ghana to benefit from becoming the first West African lithium-producing country

Ø IronRidge increases net cash position to c. US$28m for future growth initiatives

Ø Exploration, resource drilling and studies ongoing at the Project

 

Commenting, Vincent Mascolo, Chief Executive Officer 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 demerged gold projects in our portfolio."

Commenting, Keith Phillips, President & Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont, said:

"We are pleased to have concluded these transactions and look forward to partnering with IronRidge to maximize 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 Limited (AIM: IRR) (c. US$15m)

Piedmont has subscribed for 54,000,000 new ordinary shares in the Company at a price of 20p per share (£10.8m; c. US$15m) 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 (c. US$1m) increasing its stake to 9.91% via placing of a further 2.88m shares at 25p.

 

Stage 2: Regional Exploration and DFS Funding (US$17m)

Piedmont to earn up to an initial 22.5% of CCLP at completion of sole funding comprising :

•   US$5m towards an accelerated regional exploration programme to enhance the current Ewoyaa resource; and

US$12m towards completing the Definitive Feasibility Studies ("DFS") for the Project: 

the minimum "DFS criteria" is to deliver a 1.5 million tonnes per annum ("mtpa") to 2mtpa run-of-mine ("ROM") operation for a 10-year to 8-year life of mine ("LOM") respectively; and

any cost overruns or savings will be shared equally between IronRidge and Piedmont.

 

Stage 3: CAPEX Funding (US$70m)

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

Capex of US$70m for the Ewoyaa Project:

to deliver a 1.5mtpa to 2mtpa ROM operation for a 10-year to 8-year LOM respectively; and

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; and

an offtake agreement (see below) for 50% of the annual lithium spodumene concentrate (SC6%) production.

 

Offtake Agreement

 

Piedmont and IronRidge have entered into a binding offtake agreement for 50% of the Cape Coast Lithium Portfolio's life of mine spodumene concentrate.

 

Offtake pricing will be determined via a formula which is linked to the prevailing price of lithium products, ensuring IronRidge captures value-add margins.

 

Subscription & Placing

 

IronRidge has now allotted and issued a total of  54,000,000  new ordinary shares to Piedmont (the "Subscription Shares") at the Issue Price of 20p per Subscription Share.

 

In addition to the Subscription, the Company has also placed (the "Placing") 2,880,000 new ordinary shares (the "Placing Shares") at the Issue Price of 25p with Piedmont Lithium. The Placing Shares will not be subject to a lock in.  

 

An application will be made to the London Stock Exchange for the 56,880,000 Subscription and Placing Shares which will rank pari passu with the Company's existing issued ordinary shares, to be admitted to trading on AIM on or around 7 September 2021 ("Admission").

 

Following Admission, the Company's total issued share capital will comprise  573,744,246 ordinary shares. The Company does not hold any ordinary shares in Treasury. When calculating voting rights, shareholders should use this figure as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change in their interest in, the share capital of the Company.

 

Revised shareholdings following Admission

On Admission of the Subscription and Placing Shares, the revised shareholdings of the Substantial Shareholders and Directors will be as follows:

 

 

Current Shareholding

Subscription & Placing Shares

Shareholding on Admission

Percentage of enlarged issued share capital

Assore Limited

120,016,667

N il

120,016,667

20.92%

DGR Global Limited

73,022,667

Nil

73,022,667

12.73%

Piedmont Lithium Inc

Nil

56,880,000

56,880,000

9.91%

Sumitomo Corporation

31,793,568

Nil

31,793,568

5.54%

Vincent Mascolo

15,950,000

Nil

15,950,000

2.78%

 
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("MAR"), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR.

 

For any further information, please contact:

 

IronRidge Resources Limited

Vincent Mascolo (Chief Executive Officer)

Amanda Harsas (Company Secretary)

www.ironridgeresources.com.au

Tel:  +61 2 8072 0640

 

 

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Nominated Adviser

Jeff Keating

Charlie Bouverat

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 3470 0470

 

Liberum Capital Limited

Joint Company Broker

Scott Matheson

Edward Thomas

Kane Collings

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000 

 

 

SI Capital Limited

Joint Company Broker

Nick Emerson

Jon Levinson

 

Tel: +44 (0) 1483 413 500

Tel: +44 (0) 207 871 4038

 

 

Yellow Jersey PR Limited

Henry Wilkinson

Dominic Barretto

Matthew McHale 

 

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 3004 9512

 

Notes to Editors:

 

About IronRidge

www.ironridgeresources.com.au

IronRidge Resources is an AIM-listed, Africa focused minerals exploration company with a significant lithium pegmatite discovery in Ghana, extensive gold portfolios in Côte d'Ivoire and a potential new gold province discovery in Chad.  As announced on 1 June 2021, IronRidge intends to demerge its suite of gold assets into a separate listed entity.

 

Ghana

The Cape Coast Lithium portfolio covers some 684km2 and includes the newly discovered Ewoyaa Lithium Project with a maiden Mineral Resource estimate of 14.5Mt at 1.31% Li2O in the inferred and indicated category including 4.5Mt @ 1.39% Li2O in the indicated category (reported in accordance with the JORC Code). A Scoping Study on the Ewoyaa Lithium Project, announced in January 2021, supports a business case for a 2.0 Million tonnes per annum production operation, producing an average 295,000tpa of 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate, with life of mine revenues exceeding US$1.55 Billion. The Company has also secured the first access rights to acquire the historical Egyasimanku Hill spodumene rich lithium deposit, estimated to be in the order of 1.48Mt at 1.67% Li2O and surrounding tenements. The tenure package is also prospective for tin, tantalum, niobium, caesium, feldspar, and gold, which occur as accessory minerals within the pegmatites and host formations.
 

Corporate

IronRidge made its AIM debut in February 2015, successfully securing strategic alliances with three international companies; Assore Limited of South Africa, Sumitomo Corporation of Japan and DGR Global Limited of Australia. Assore is a high-grade iron, chrome, and manganese mining specialist. Sumitomo Corporation is a global resources, mining marketing and trading conglomerate. DGR Global is a project generation and exploration specialist.

 

About Piedmont:

www.piedmontlithium.com

Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq: PLL) is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States, enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in America. Our location in the renowned Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt of North Carolina, the cradle of the lithium industry, positions us to be one of the world's lowest cost producers of lithium hydroxide, and the most strategically located to serve the fast-growing US electric vehicle supply chain. The unique geographic proximity of our resources, production operations and prospective customers places us on the path to be among the most sustainable producers of lithium hydroxide in the world and should allow Piedmont to play a pivotal role in supporting America's move to the electrification of transportation and energy storage. 

 

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