Piedmont Announces Proposed U.S. Public Offering of American Depositary Shares

Piedmont Lithium Limited today announced that it plans to conduct a U.S. public offering, subject to market and other conditions, of 1.5 million of its American Depositary Shares with each ADS representing 100 of its ordinary shares . Evercore ISI, Canaccord Genuity and ThinkEquity, a division of Fordham Financial Management, Inc., are acting as joint book-runners and lead underwriters for the Public Offering. …

Piedmont Lithium Limited (“Piedmont" or the “Company") (Nasdaq:PLL; ASX:PLL) today announced that it plans to conduct a U.S. public offering, subject to market and other conditions, of 1.5 million of its American Depositary Shares (“ADSs"), with each ADS representing 100 of its ordinary shares (“Public Offering").

Evercore ISI, Canaccord Genuity and ThinkEquity, a division of Fordham Financial Management, Inc., are acting as joint book-runners and lead underwriters for the Public Offering. Piedmont intends to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 225,000 additional ADSs at the issue price of the Public Offering.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to continue development of the Company's Piedmont Lithium Project, including a definitive feasibility study, testwork, permitting, further exploration drilling and ongoing land consolidation, and for general corporate purposes.

The Public Offering is being made pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement that has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC"). A preliminary prospectus supplement related to the offering of the ADSs has been filed with the SEC and is available on the SEC's website at https://www.sec.gov and on the ASX website. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to the Public Offering may be obtained from Evercore Group L.L.C., Attention: Equity Capital Markets, 55 East 52nd Street, 35th Floor, New York, NY 10055, by telephone at (888) 474-0200 or by e-mail at ecm.prospectus@evercore.com ; Canaccord Genuity LLC, 99 High Street, Suite 1200, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, Attn: Syndicate Department, by telephone at (671) 371-3900 or email at prospectus@cgf.com ; and ThinkEquity, a division of Fordham Financial Management, Inc., Prospectus Department, 17 State Street, 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10004, telephone at (877) 436-3673 or e-mail at prospectus@think-equity.com .

This press release is not an offer or sale of the securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction where such offer or sale is prohibited, and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements" as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may," “might," “will," “objective," “intend," “should," “could," “can," “would," “expect," “believe," “design," “estimate," “predict," “potential," “plan" or the negative of these terms and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Piedmont cautions readers that forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations and assumptions as of the date of this news release and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, risks related to whether the Company will offer the ADSs or consummate the offering of the ADSs on the expected terms, or at all; the anticipated use of the net proceeds of the offering; the fact that the Company's management will have broad discretion in the use of the proceeds from any sale of the ADSs; the Company's operations being further disrupted by, or the Company's financial results being adversely affected by, the novel coronavirus pandemic; the Company's limited operating history in the lithium industry; the Company's status as an exploration stage company; the Company's ability to identify lithium mineralization and achieve commercial lithium mining; mining, exploration and mine construction, if warranted, on the Company's properties; the Company's ability to achieve and maintain profitability and to develop positive cash flow from the Company's mining activities; the Company's ability to enter into and deliver product under supply agreements; investment risk and operational costs associated with the Company's exploration activities; the Company's ability to enter into and deliver product under supply agreements; the Company's ability to access capital and the financial markets; recruiting, training and maintaining employees; possible defects in title of the Company's properties; potential conflicts of interest of the Company's directors and officers; compliance with government regulations; the Company's ability to acquire necessary mining licenses, permits or access rights; environmental liabilities and reclamation costs; volatility in lithium prices or demand for lithium; the Company's ADS price and trading volume volatility; risks relating to the development of an active trading market for the ADSs; ADS holders not having certain shareholder rights; ADS holders not receiving certain distributions; and the Company's status as a foreign private issuer and emerging growth company. Forward-looking statements reflect its analysis only on their stated date, and Piedmont undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements except as may be required by law.

About Piedmont

Piedmont holds a 100% interest in the Piedmont Lithium Project located within the Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (“TSB") and along trend to the Hallman Beam and Kings Mountain mines, historically providing most of the western world's lithium between the 1950s and the 1980s. The TSB has been described as one of the largest lithium provinces in the world and is located approximately 25 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a premier location for development of an integrated lithium business based on its favorable geology and easy access to infrastructure, power, R&D centers for lithium and battery storage, major high-tech population centers and downstream lithium processing facilities.

Keith Phillips
President & CEO
T: +1 973 809 0505
E: kphillips@piedmontlithium.com

Tim McKenna
Investor and Government Relations
T: +1 732 331 6457
E: tmckenna@piedmontlithium.com

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Gold isn't all that glitters in the land down under — silver in Australia is a major industry, and the country is home to both large and small players.

When it comes to precious metals, Australia has long punched above its weight — the nation was born riding the wave of a gold rush.

Gold isn't all that glitters through — Australia is also a major global producer of silver. It's among the 10 top producers, and was ranked seventh in 2020, with 1,300 tonnes coming from the many operational mines in the country. By comparison, the world's top producer, Mexico, produced 6,300 tonnes that same year.

Other key players in the silver market are Peru, China and Russia, which produce more silver than Australia, and the US, Argentina and Bolivia, which produce less.


Australia is sitting on quite a lot of the precious metal, with the world's second largest reserves, behind only Peru.

According to Geoscience Australia, one of the country's first mines was a silver-lead mine near Adelaide. Since then, the entire continent has been combed over with a fine-toothed comb, with deposits identified in every state and territory and active mines in every jurisdiction but one (Victoria).

Overall, Australia is well explored when it comes to silver, and since the mid-1800s it's had a constant stream of silver production. Aside from that, the country boasts metals-processing facilities in South Australia that separate the precious metal from its commonly mined counterpart metals, lead and zinc.

Silver companies in Australia

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals — Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc, but between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 — over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020 (or almost 28 tonnes).

According to Geoscience Australia data from 2016, over 20 mines in Australia produced silver in that year, while there are dozens of other resources identified in each state.

A primary producer of silver is the Cannington mine in Queensland, where South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF), a company that was spun off from BHP in 2015, mines silver and lead. Cannington is a big one, producing 11,792,000 ounces in 2020, or 334 tonnes of silver.

Tasmania boasts the Rosebery mine, which has seen 85 years of continuous operations and is currently owned by MMG (ASX:MMG,HKEX:1208). Rosebery, like all the others here, is polymetallic, and besides silver also produces copper, zinc, lead and gold. MMG also has the Dugald River mine in Queensland which also produced silver.

Getting into smaller companies, there are those like New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) which restarted the Century mine in the Northern Territory for zinc and silver.

The future of silver in Australia

So, you get the picture — there's a lot of silver to be mined in Australia by way of mining everything else.

It's worth noting that because silver operates both as a precious and an industrial metal, and is mined most often alongside base metals, it can be pulled in many directions. However, it traditionally follows (and lags behind) its precious metal sibling, gold, making it a valuable investment commodity to keep an eye on.

Looking forward, the future of the commodity in the land down under — especially given Australia's significant reserves and operator diversity — is as bright as you'd like it, and depends on what investors are most interested in, given the by-product nature of the metal.

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

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

Australia took a stand against Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the move could have long-term implications for tech investors.

It was a ban that sent Australians wild and had the whole world watching.

Back in February, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stopped users in Australia from posting news in a week-long blackout, reacting to proposed legislation that would have forced the social media behemoth to pay publishers for content.

What prompted Facebook to "friend" Australia again, and what are the potential long-term implications of the squabble? Read on to learn what tech-focused investors in Australia should know about the situation.


Australia squares off against Facebook

On February 25 of this year, Australia's federal government passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. It was developed after extensive analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is aimed at ensuring that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for their content.

It stipulates that digital platforms such as Facebook and Google (both named in the documentation) must pay news outlets whose content they feature — for example, if content is shared on Facebook or shows up in Google search results. The idea is that this will help to sustain journalism in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Google didn't react well to the code, which was first introduced in 2020.

Google didn't make any moves after it passed, but Facebook quickly made it impossible for Australian users to share news content, and pages for both local and international news organisations went blank — a major concern given the COVID-19 and wildfire concerns that were circulating at the time.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was scathing about Facebook's decision — which he ironically shared in a Facebook post — declaring the tech giant's actions "as arrogant as they were disappointing." He added, "These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them."

Despite strong feelings from both Australia and Facebook, the dispute was resolved fairly quickly, with the country agreeing to make four amendments to the legislation and Facebook restoring Australian's access to news.

Implications for Big Tech and news organisations

Both Australia and Facebook have claimed victory in the dispute, with a Facebook representative saying the company will be able to decide if news appears on the platform — meaning it won't automatically have to negotiate with any news businesses. Changes were also made to the arbitration process.

Tech experts have pointed out that larger news companies may ultimately benefit from the changes, but smaller ones could be pushed to the side. Major publishers that have struck agreements with tech giants, such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC,OTC Pink:NNMTF), Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Guardian Australia, may be able to increase their market share while smaller independent players lose out.

A business that is in full support of the laws is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). During the conflict, President Brad Smith came out loudly in favour of Australia's law, and advised that his company is willing to step up with search engine Bing should Google and/or Facebook pull out of the Australian market.

"In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed forward with legislation two years in the making to redress the competitive imbalance between the tech sector and an independent press. The ideas are straightforward. Dominant tech properties like Facebook and Google will need to invest in transparency, including by explaining how they display news content," he said in a blog post.

"The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press. It should copy it instead."

Global reach and tech investor impact

Six months down the road from Australia's landmark legislation, it's tough to say what the long-term impact may be.

That said, market watchers do believe the country is part of a new precedent of forcing Big Tech into paying for journalism — something giants Facebook and Google are not used to.

Countries looking to pursue similar legislation include Canada, where Facebook agreed in May to pay 14 publishers to link to their articles on its COVID-19 and climate science pages, as well as other unspecified use cases. Canada is pursuing other avenues too. Meanwhile, in France, Google said it will pay publishers for news content after the country took up new EU copyright laws that make digital platforms liable for infringements.

For investors, the takeaway is perhaps that while companies like Facebook and Google may seem too big too fail, they too can fall subject to new regulations that can change how they do business. As nations around the world look to take back control from these mega companies, it's important to be aware of possible effects on their bottom lines.

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

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

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