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Orocobre, Toyota Approve US$295-million Lithium Project Expansion

The expansion will increase lithium carbonate production capacity at Olaroz by approximately 25,000 tonnes per year.

Lithium producer Orocobre (ASX:ORE,TSX:ORL) and joint venture partner Toyota Tsusho (TSE:8015) have approved a US$295-million stage 2 expansion of the Salar de Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina.

The expansion will increase lithium carbonate production capacity by approximately 25,000 tonnes per year, bringing total Olaroz output capacity to approximately 42,500 tonnes per year.

“This commitment to Stage 2 at Olaroz will cement Orocobre’s position as a global lithium producer operating at the bottom quartile of the lithium cost curve,” Orocobre Managing Director Richard Seville and incoming CEO Martin Perez de Solay said in a press release.

“The very strong relationship with Toyota Tsusho continues to be mutually beneficial and will support the ongoing development and further expansion of the world class Olaroz lithium asset.”

Stage 2 is set to produce 17,500 tonnes per year of battery grade lithium carbonate and 15,500 tonnes per year of technical grade lithium carbonate. It will also produce 9,500 tonnes per year of technical grade lithium carbonate to be used as feedstock for the proposed lithium hydroxide plant to be built in Japan.

Negotiations on the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Naraha plant are advancing rapidly between Toyota Tsusho as operator and Veolia as contractor, Orocobre said.

The revised total capital expenditure for Stage 2 is expected to be US$295 million, US$10 million more than originally anticipated, including US$25 million contingency. The expansion funding will come from a combination of project debt, operating cash flows and shareholders loans.

“We don’t see this as a surprise, although Capex was up slightly, and expansion approval did take a little longer than we anticipated,” analysts at Eight Capital said in a note to clients.

“Orocobre is a leader with few peers. It is the only junior lithium company to bring a brine project into production,” they added.

In its quarterly report released in October, Orocobre said production at Olaroz reached a total of 2,293 tonnes of lithium carbonate — a 36 percent decline quarter-on-quarter due to a shutdown of the plant for two weeks and seasonally lower evaporation rates. Meanwhile, total sales revenues increased 36 percent compared to the same quarter last year to US$32 million.

Commissioning of Stage 2 at Olaroz and the Naraha lithium hydroxide plant are expected to be completed during the second half of 2020.

Olaroz hosts measured and indicated resources of 6.4 Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent and is capable of sustaining current continuous production for 40-plus years with only 15 percent of the defined resource extracted, according to the company.

Aside from Olaroz, Orocobre operates Borax Argentina, a boron minerals and refined chemicals producer, and has a 33.5-percent interest in Advantage Lithium (TSXV:AAL).

On Thursday (November 29), shares of Orocobre were up 5.61 percent in Sydney, trading at AU$4.33.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Advantage Lithium is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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Lake Resources CEO Stephen Promnitz: Scaling Lithium Supply with $150 Million Series B Funding

Lake Resources Managing Director Stephen Promnitz

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE,OTCQB:LLKKF) Managing Director Stephen Promnitz says Lake Resources has secured robust financing to scale up lithium production in preparation for the electric vehicle revolution.

Lake Resources has recently established a technology and funding partnership with Lilac Solutions, and the latter has announced $150 Million Series B to scale lithium supply for the electric vehicle era.

Lake Resources: Scaling Lithium Supply with $150 Million Series B Funding www.youtube.com

"Lilac Solutions are actually going to work with us and progressively earn into our flagship Kachi project, and then provide $50 million towards the development of that project. So come the end of October, we should have somewhere around $70 to $80 million in the bank, plus this $50 million commitment from Lilac going forward. And then if we have some additional $75 million options in June next year. Essentially, we can now see a pathway to the entire project being financed," Promnitz said.

Lake Resources and Lilac Solutions signed a partnership agreement wherein Lilac is able to achieve an equity stake in the Kachi project with project funding obligations while providing its leading technology to advance the project.

"There's a real deal here, and now value opportunity. But on top of that, we've de-risked it from the debt side and from the equity side. This project is going to happen, and not only that, we're going to be scaling it up to 50,000 tonnes per annum soon after we get into production. That will make us one of the top five producers in the lithium space."

Watch the full interview of Lake Resources Managing Director Stephen Promnitz above.

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Ioneer Ltd is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture with Sibanye Stillwater Limited to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA . Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer …

Ioneer Ltd (“ioneer” or the “Company”) (ASX: INR) is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture (the ” Joint Venture “) with Sibanye Stillwater Limited ( “Sibanye-Stillwater” ) to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA (the “Project” ). Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer has also agreed to provide Sibanye-Stillwater with an option to participate in 50% of the North Basin 1 upon the election of Sibanye-Stillwater to contribute up to an additional US$50 million subject to certain terms and conditions.

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Galaxy Resources Limited advises that the following announcement has been made to the Australian Securities Exchange which appears on the Company’s platform : Merger of Galaxy and Orocobre Implemented The announcement can be viewed at: SOURCE Galaxy Resources Limited View original content

Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) ( Company ) advises that the following announcement has been made to the Australian Securities Exchange which appears on the Company’s platform (ASX):

  • Merger of Galaxy and Orocobre Implemented

The announcement can be viewed at:

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Person looking at credit card while making a purchase on their phone

A subsection of the booming fintech sector, innovative payment services are experiencing a hay day.

Paytech is just what it sounds like — technology for payments. In Australia, changes to open banking laws plus the need for contactless payments through the global pandemic has meant a major uptake in paytech services.

There are more than 1 million Aussies shopping online each month as different parts of the nation continue to be under COVID-related lockdowns and stay at home orders.


A subsection of the booming fintech sector, innovative payment services are experiencing a hay day. Paytech options are everywhere, with examples like mobile, peer-to-peer, cryptocurrency payments and international payments.

5 Biggest ASX Paytech Stocks

The Investing News Network looked at the biggest paytech stocks on TradingView sorted by Market cap. Data for this list was obtained on September 30, 2021.

1. Afterpay (ASX:APT)

Market cap: AU$35.37 billion

The startup founded in Sydney's eastern suburbs five years ago is now a global brand and employs some 700 people globally serving millions of customers. The brand name has become a verb for buy now pay later — "I'll after pay it." AfterPay was acquired by giant payments provider Square for AU$39 billion in August 2021. Group Total Income for FY21 was 78 percent higher than the previous year at AU$924.7 million, and Afterpay Income increased by 90 percent.

Early investors have reaped the benefits of AfterPay's booming rewards. An investigation by the Australian Financial Review found singer John Farnham and wife Jillian started investing in 2017 when share prices were low and today they hold 36,304 shares at a value of close to AU$3.2 million.

2. Sezzle (ASX:SZL)

Market cap: AU$1.13 billion

Sezzle is the Certified B Corp buy now pay later option that listed on the ASX in 2019. Often dubbed the "mini-Afterpay," the business is based in Minneapolis, US, and has been trying to make "Just Sezzle it" happen since it formed in 2016. The company serves customers mostly in North America, with plans to expand to India.

The company reported an after-tax loss of US$30.4 million for the six months ending June 30, 2021, and it saw an income increase of 159 percent for the same period, alongside an increase of 102 percent in costs.

3. Openpay Group (ASX:OPY)

Market cap: AU$173.92 million

Another Australian buy now pay later offering is Openpay, which offers payment plans of up to 24 months and up to AU$20,000. Openpay started in 2013 for Australia and New Zealand, expanded in 2019 to the UK and reached the US in 2020 under the brand name Opy. This contributed to a growth of 44 percent in income for FY21 of AU$26.3 million.

The company positions itself as a financially responsible business for a mature audience wanting funding for life affirming things like home improvement projects. Unlike Afterpay, Openpay does perform credit checks on all clients through their B2B offering, a SaaS-based platform Openpay for Business.

4. Cirralto (ASX:CRO)

Market cap: AU$167.19 million

Cirralto is a transaction services business that supplies a broad range of B2B payment services and a fully integrated digital payment and business software solution known as Spenda. It aims to help businesses to improve their processes and payment terms to so the businesses can get paid faster.

Cirralto's FY21 has been strong, with 157 percent increase in revenue and a 113 percent boost in customer growth. Other big news included the acquisition of software technology company Greenshoots Technology in September 2021. Greenshoots provides a white-labelled eCommerce platform for small and medium businesses.

5. Novatti Group (ASX:NOV)

Market cap: AU$148.95 million

Novatti is a multi-services payment provider for businesses and business customers with year on year revenue growth of around 50 percent for each of the past four years. Its customer base is roughly half fintech companies and banks and half traditional merchants and businesses. Novatti has licenses to operate in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and is obtaining licenses in Europe and Singapore.

The brand has big plans to expand into new markets after a AU$40 million capital raise in July, of which AU$22 million was spent on a strategic investment of a 19.9 percent stake in bookkeeping software Reckon (ASX:RKN). The company is working through licenses with Mastercard and Visa and will be looking to expand into new markets for FY22.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

carbon emissions

Following international pressure, the Australian government has promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

In a last-minute commitment after months of debate, the Australian government has promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050, expecting to meet the goal largely through technology development.

The move comes following international pressure as Australia had previously refused to join countries in pledging to meet the target ahead of the United Nations' COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

However, the plan unveiled on Tuesday (October 26), which includes a government investment of AU$20 billion, does not strengthen the target set for 2030, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying Australia is on track to beat its Paris Agreement goal, cutting emissions by 30 to 35 percent by that decade.


"We will do this the Australian way," Morrison said ahead of a press conference, announcing investments in new energy technologies like hydrogen and low-cost solar.

An Australian hydrogen industry could be worth more than AU$50 billion in 2050, according to the government. Meanwhile, expanding production and processing of metals like lithium, nickel, copper and uranium could together be worth around AU$85 billion in exports in 2050.

That said, Australia will continue to be heavily dependent on fossil fuels as the plan will not shut down coal or gas production. The country is a major coal player, with the third largest reserves in the world, but its reliance on coal-fired power makes it one of the world's largest carbon emitters per capita.

"We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows," Morrison said. "We will not support any mandate — domestic or international — to force closure of our resources or agricultural industries."

Australia's desire to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is a step in the right direction, Prakash Sharma, Wood Mackenzie's Asia Pacific head of markets and transitions, said.

"Our analysis shows that Australia can reach net zero emissions by 2050," he said. The country's major trading partners — China, Japan and South Korea — are already in transition towards that goal.

According to Wood Mackenzie, nearly 83 percent of Australia's power generation will come from solar and wind by 2050, as compared to about 20 percent last year. Natural gas, bio energy, geothermal and small modular reactors will supply the remaining 17 percent in power output. Coal into power is expected to be phased out by 2035.

"Although the pathway requires complete transformation of its traditional energy and export sectors, there are significant opportunities to capitalise on and protect future revenues," Sharma said.

"This will require Australia to become a significant player in low-carbon hydrogen trade as well as being able to offer carbon storage and offset services."

Meanwhile, the Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the prime minister's commitment to reach net zero by 2050, but said the mid-century goal is only meaningful with deep cuts to climate pollution this decade.

"Unless the government sets the wheels in motion to cut our emissions in half by 2030, it is making climate change worse and turning its back on the opportunities," said Chief Executive Kelly O'Shanassy.

"Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal and gas with renewable energy," she added. "We have abundant clean energy, tools and talent, but we cannot delay any longer."

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.