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Pilgangoora Produces First Concentrate

Just a week after commissioning started at the concentrator, Pilbara Minerals has now seen its first production of concentrate from the company’s Pilgangoora project.

Marking a milestone for its Pilgangoora project, Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has produced its first concentrate from the lithium-tantalum site in Western Australia.

The concentrate, which was tantalum and spodumene, has not yet been tested for quality or specifications, but according to the company, early signs show the process plant and equipment are performing up to expectation.

“This is a great result, which marks the culmination of the incredible hard work our entire team has put in to transform the amazing resource at Pilgangoora into a globally significant lithium raw materials production base – with Stage 1 of the project having been delivered in less than four years since the first drill hole,” Pilbara Minerals managing director and CEO Ken Brinsden said in a statement.

While the commissioning process just started at Pilgangoora’s concentrator a week ago, the company expects all remaining construction activity to be completed in the coming weeks. After the flotation and dense media separation circuits are commissioned, which is set to take place over the next six weeks, Pilbara will shift its focus to ramping up the plant’s overall production capacity.

Pilbara will deliver its first shipment of spodumene concentrate in August, as the company is finalizing the last details of offtake agreements made with Ganfeng (SHE:002460) and General Lithium. Meanwhile, the company shipped its first batch of direct shipping ore (DSO) to China just less than a week ago.

Pilgangoora is Pilbara’s primary project, though the company also has a 51-percent interest in Mt Francisco, a lithium-tantalite exploration project in Western Australia. The company can earn up to an 80-percent interest in the project by funding $1 million worth of exploration and completing a definitive feasibility study. Pilbara shares the joint-venture with Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO).

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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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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a bowl of U3O8 yellow cake

Australia is the second largest producer of uranium in the world. Here's a look at the mines that are producing today, and the significant ones that are being developed.

Despite sitting on the largest known recoverable resources of uranium worldwide — 1.69 million metric tonnes in 2019 — Australia uses no part of it for energy. Instead, Australia exports the valuable resource, which accounts for one-quarter of its energy exports.

In fact, Australia was the second largest producer of uranium in 2020, producing 6,203 metric tonnes. It was only beaten by Kazakhstan, which produced nearly 20,000 metric tonnes that year.

Australian uranium production has centred around three mines in recent years — Olympic Dam, Beverly Four Mile and Ranger — until the Ranger mine ceased operations in 2021.

Main mines in the country

Here's a closer at these mines and the companies that own them:

1. Olympic Dam owned by BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP)

The Olympic Dam complex is built upon one of the world's most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium. In fact, it's the world's largest known uranium deposit. It has both underground and surface operations and it has a fully integrated processing facility, which means it is capable of extracting, refining and processing mined commodities.

In 2020, BHP Billiton produced 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium oxide (U3O8), which is nearly half of Australia's output and 6 percent of the world's production. In 2021, their uranium segment accounted for US$249 million in revenue.

Although the company produces a significant amount of global uranium, its production of copper, iron ore, coal and petroleum dwarfs its uranium production by a wide margin.

2. Beverly and Four Mile owned by private company Heathgate Resources

Australia's first in-situ recovery mine at Beverly sits on a uranium deposit about 520 kilometres from Adelaide. Owned by Heathgate Resources, a subsidiary of US-based General Atomics, the Beverly mine itself has all been mined out and production exclusively occurs at the nearby Four Mile mine (owned by Quasar, a subsidiary of Heathgate).

In 2020, Heathgate Resources mined 2,130 tonnes of uranium oxide from Four Mile, accounting for 4 percent of the world's uranium production.

3. Ranger Uranium Mine owned by Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA)

Ranger was the longest serving uranium production mine in Australia at 35 years, located 8 km east of the town of Jabiru. The mine officially stopped processing operations in January 2021 after traditional owners of the land did not support extending the Energy Resources of Australia's (ERA) authority in the area. The company had already stopped mining operations back in 2012 and had been processing stockpiled ore since then.

The ERA, whose parent company is Rio Tinto, produced 1,574 tonnes of uranium oxide for 2020 — accounting for 2 percent of the world's uranium production — before shutting the mine down.

According to their 2020 annual report, continuing mining at Ranger in the future is also unviable. A change in legislation would be required and the company states that monitoring the mine in the gap between ceasing and resuming operations would simply add to its cost burden.

While ERA still holds the lease on the nearby Jabiluka orebody, it has been firm that it will not develop the site without the consent of the Mirrar Aboriginal people, and so the Jabiluka development has been indefinitely deferred.

Future mines in Australia

Australia accounts for almost one-third of the world's uranium deposits and there are several future exploration and expansion uranium projects brewing in the country. With 31 known deposits for uranium including the three discussed above, the list for potential new mines or mines being brought back online is long. Here are a few noteworthy ones.

1. Honeymoon

The deposit was discovered in the 1970s, and in 2015 Boss Energy (ASX:BOE) bought Uranium One Australia and acquired the mine as part of the deal. The project is permitted to export up to 3.3 million pounds (1,496 tonnes) per annum and production is expected soon.

2. Mulga Rock

This polymetallic deposit was first discovered by PNC Exploration in 1979 and is now owned by Vimy Resources (ASX:VMY), formerly Energy & Minerals Australia. The deposit is divided into Mulga Rock East and West, and also hosts scandium, nickel and cobalt.

With approvals from both state and federal governments in 2016 and 2017 respectively, the mine can produce up to 1,300 tonnes of U3O8 per year. Vimy Resources intends to start on the Ambassador deposit with open-pit mining with an 85 percent recovery rate.

3. Angela / Bigrlyi / Obagooma / Thatcher Soak

Elevate Uranium (ASX:EL8), formerly known as Marenica Energy, has acquired or bought stakes in several mining projects in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. While there is no clear timeline on start of operations for any project, managing director and CEO Murray Hill was quoted saying that he expects the price of uranium to increase over the next decade, meaning the company would be well-leveraged as it bought assets at a reduced price.

Hill also expects modular reactor technology to improve in the next decade, allowing nuclear energy to be used across the landscape in rural areas and not just the bigger cities.

Market Outlook

After suffering low prices after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the nuclear energy market is expected to pick up, with generation growing nearly 3 percent annually by 2040, according to the World Nuclear Association's Nuclear Report. As the world continues to pivot to net-zero emissions, nuclear energy will find increasing favour from countries looking to shift their energy generation to cleaner sources.

The report states that uranium production will remain stable until the end of the 2020s and then decrease by nearly half from 2030 to 2040, highlighting the need for increased exploration and production in the space to avoid future supply disruptions.

Many projects are at advanced development stages and are only waiting for improved prices from the market.

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

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

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.