Sinomine’s shrewd moves impress Prospect

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Tawanda Musarurwa
HARARE – Chinese mining group Sinomine’s recent clever acquisitions in its bid to become the world’s leading battery minerals company appears to have hit home with Prospect Resources, which is in negotiations with the former for the possible takeover of the Arcadia Lithium Project.

The ASX-listed Prospect Resources owns the Arcadia Lithium Project (which is largely viewed as the largest lithium project in Africa) in Zimbabwe. The Acardia Lithium project – located approximately 38 kilometres east of Harare, near the long established Acturus Mine.

Earlier this month, Prospect Resources received a written request from Sinomine to extend the period for completion of the placement to allow for further time to discuss the terms of a Definitive Build and Transfer Contract and the Definitive Facility Agreement that would see Sinomine constructing and financing Prospect’s Lithium Mine and Plant at the Arcadia Lithium Project to full production.

The agreement also included the potential acquisition of the Arcadia lithium project, via either an offer to acquire a minimum of 51 percent of Prospect Resources or an offer to purchase 100 percent of the Arcadia lithium project directly.

And in its bid to enhance its ‘battery minerals status’ Sinomine recently moved to acquire the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s operations of ASX-listed Tiger Resources Ltd for $260 million.

In a closely-related development Sinomine has also has agreed to purchase Jiangxi Dongpeng New Materials Co. Ltd (Dongpeng) for around 1, 8 billion Yuan (approximately $280 million) In an announcement to the ASX, Prospect said it had given Sinomine more time to negotiate for the acquisition of the Arcadia lithium project in Zimbabwe.

“In granting the extension, the directors considered Sinomine’s ambition to become a leading battery minerals company, the central role that Prospect’s Arcadia lithium project might play in their strategy and the benefits to Prospect’s shareholders of being engaged with a significant participant in a key market for its lithium products. 

“Sinomine appears to be quickly executing its strategy as evidenced by its conditional agreement (in conjunction with Shenzhen Oriental Fortune Capital Co. Ltd) to purchase the DRC operations of Tiger Resources Ltd for some $260 million.

“The directors are pleased to advise that Sinomine is continuing to implement its strategy and that it has announced that it has agreed to purchase Jiangxi Dongpeng New Materials Co. Ltd (Dongpeng) for some 1, 8 billion Yuan (approximately $280 million) to be settled in shares and cash. 

“We are advised that, Dongpeng is one of the main suppliers of lithium fluoride which is a key raw material of lithium-ion electrolyte in China, as well as the largest manufacturer and supplier of caesium salt and rubidium salt in China.

Dongpeng’s main products are: battery grade lithium fluoride, lithium hydroxide, caesium carbonate, caesium sulphate, rubidium carbonate, rubidium nitrate and other lithium, rubidium, caesium products. Dongpeng’s products are supplied to both domestic and foreign customers, including customers in the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea,” said Prospect Resources.

 “As Sinomine transforms itself into a leading battery minerals company, their need for security of supply of raw materials becomes critical.  The Director’s believe that Prospect’s Arcadia lithium project is one such key element to this supply chain and Sinomine is evolving into a strong industry partner for Prospect.”

Sinomine Resource Exploration a geo-tech services company, provides solid mineral prospecting, mining investment, trade and logistics, and construction services. It holds interests in the Shivuma copper project in Zambia, the Perlat copper project in Albania.

The company offers solid mineral exploration technology services for copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, gold, silver, platinum, and other non-ferrous metals, and has operations in China, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Congo (DRC), Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Canada, Liberia, Turkey, and Albania.

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