AfriTin plans to fast-track Namibia lithium production

November 17, 2022

AfriTin Mining plans to fast-track lithium production, as it expands its footprint in Namibia.

The six months to the end of August have seen the London Aim-listed company focus on bringing lithium and tantalum byproducts into production.

In ramping up tin concentrate production beyond the 1,200 t/y mark in the next six months of the financial year, lithium and tantalum will be extracted from the processing streams of the now-completed Uis Phase 1 Expansion Project – something which presents the company with an opportunity to become the Aim’s only lithium producer.

AfriTin is capitalising on a globally significant resource to bridge the lithium supply gap, CEO Anthony Viljoen said.

While tin prices have dropped drastically in recent months, the opposite has been true of lithium, which further cements AfriTin’s strategy of accelerating lithium and tantalum while continuing to grow organically and moving into a lower unit cost position.

In the six months to August 31, AfriTin lifted tin output – also a component of the world’s decarbonisation revolution – by 23% to 454 t of concentrate.

But revenue of N$97.1 million (£4.7 million) – compared with N$105.4 million (£5.1-million) in the corresponding six months of 2021 – was impacted by tin’s price fall plus the timing of settlement adjustments, which lowered the average price achieved to $25,227/t compared with the $36,910/t of the corresponding six months of 2021.

Inflationary pressures of high fuel prices and higher maintenance costs also lifted half-year cost of sales above the N$82.6 million (£4 million) of 2021 to N$118 million (£5.7 million).

After the end of the period under review, AfriTin negotiated a potential funding package of N$933 million (US$53.6 million), which could help to accelerate organic tin growth, fund lithium and tantalum by-product opportunities, continue the regional drilling programme, and initiate the feasibility study for the Phase 2 production step at Uis.

The funding package embraces debt, convertible notes and an equity raise of N$383 million (US$22.8 million) through a placing and subscriptions, a process that closed on September 16.

As announced earlier this year, the Development Bank of Namibia has approved a conditional N$5.8 million lending facility, which provides another component of the funding package.

Additionally, asset management firm Orion, which has been proposed as a key strategic investor for AfriTin, has a history of cultivating sustainable shareholder value in the mining sector. —Mining Weekly/The Brief

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Last modified on Friday, 18 November 2022 04:39

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