Top News

Queensland Further Backs AU$2-billion Lithium-ion Battery Project

Queensland’s government has taken another step towards making a lithium-ion battery factory in Townsville a reality.

The Queensland government has made further progress in a potential AU$2-billion deal that would see a lithium-ion battery factory built and operated in Townsville.

On Thursday (August 23), an assistance agreement was signed between the Queensland government and Imperium 3, an international joint venture consisting of Boston Energy and Innovation, Magnis Resources (ASX:MNS) and Charge CCCV (C4V).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk commented on the signing, highlighting the creation of new jobs that will come with the construction of the battery factory.

“Today’s signing is great news for Townsville, and Queensland as a whole, as it means we are one step closer to making this facility a reality, along with the jobs it would bring to Townsville,” she said.

Palaszczuk added, “[i]n line with our Advance Queensland agenda, we are determined to make the most of the opportunities for the future, and by assisting to progress the feasibility study of this project, we hope to leverage considerable private sector investment into regional Queensland.”

The premier, whose government contributed AU$3.1 million to the project’s feasibility study, elaborated on how the factory will help Queensland further contribute to the renewable energy space.

“Battery storage solutions are fundamental to making renewable energy reliable, and Imperium 3’s project would be supplying into a rapidly expanding market and would further develop Queensland’s advanced manufacturing capabilities in the renewable energy market,” she noted.

Cameron Dick, minister for state development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning, commented that Imperium 3 is collaborating with one of his department’s senior teams to help deliver the feasibility study for the project; he expects it will be completed next year.

“With today’s signing, we are another step closer to making this major manufacturing project a reality for Townsville, and following the feasibility study completion, we expect Imperium 3 will make the final investment decision by mid-2020,” he said.

Coralee O’Rourke, minister for communities and member for Mundingburra, expressed similar positivity about what the factory could accomplish for both Townsville and Queensland’s economies.

“If the feasibility study is positive and if the full-scale proposed development is realised, this battery manufacturing facility will deliver a huge economic boost to the Townsville region, and more broadly to Queensland,” O’Rourke commented in the release.

Aside from the Townsville battery factory, Imperium 3 is also working on a similar operation in New York.

The consortium’s three members each play different roles — Boston Energy is an investment house responsible for financing and fostering sustainable energy solutions; Magnis specializes in end-to-end sourcing of raw materials for lithium-ion batteries; and C4V has expertise and patented discoveries in lithium-ion battery composition and manufacturing.

The New York factory is expected to come online in 2019, with the Townsville one following in 2021 assuming a positive investment decision.

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.

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

Featured
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.

read more Show less

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.

read more Show less

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:

read more Show less
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.

kangaroos in front of the sunrise

Silver is on the rise in Australia, with new silver mines opening, production potential booming and the precious metal's valuation reaching new heights.

Analysts have been bullish on gold for the better part of the past decade, but now it's silver's time to shine. While the price of silver tends to rise and fall alongside that of gold, silver's valuation is generally more volatile — slower to move in either direction, but more prone to abrupt spikes and plunges.

Considering the market's longtime gold rush, silver is due for a major price hike. In 2020, silver hit a seven year high with 27 percent year-over-year growth, climbing faster than gold. Silver was on the rise again in February 2021, bolstered by WallStreetBets fervour. Though prices have stabilised since, they remain elevated compared to the past decade. Additionally, at only a fraction of gold's valuation, silver is a much more attainable buy.

Shrewd investors are looking to Australia for their silver picks. A country whose silver mines continued to flourish even when most of the world was in a precious metal slump, Australia has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic as a major player in the global silver market.


A look at Australia and silver mining

When you think of mining in Australia, you may not think of silver, especially since the country is a top global producer of several other metals, including gold and iron ore. Nevertheless, silver is on the rise in Australia, with new silver mines opening, production potential booming and the precious metal's valuation reaching new heights.

This may be surprising news, especially since 2020 was an erratic year for silver. Global silver-mining production plunged by 5.9 percent in 2020 — its biggest drop in over 10 years —⁠ following four years of steady decline.

Output from primary silver mines plummeted by 11.9 percent year-over-year, while silver by-product suffered a more modest drop, with production from gold and lead-⁠zinc mines falling by 5.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. Note that silver is largely produced as a by-product of other metal-mining processes, with 72 percent of silver production taking place at non-silver mines.

This production downturn was the result of COVID-19 restrictions that forced mines to suspend operations temporarily. Silver mine closures hit certain places harder than others, with extended closures in top silver-producing countries such as Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia causing major production drops.

Australia, however, was an exception to this rule, with production increasing by 3 percent. The reason for Australia's success is that it remained relatively untouched by COVID-19 restrictions. While other countries were forced to shut down production facilities, Australia was able to avoid these closures, continuing — and even upgrading — regular operations.

Australia is now the fifth largest silver producer globally, with an annual output of 43.8 million ounces in 2020. While the output of silver-mining giants such as Mexico and Peru (178.1 million and 109.7 million ounces produced in 2020, respectively) continues to far exceed that of Australia, global demand for silver is on the rise, hitting 900 million ounces annually and making room for a new silver-mining powerhouse.

What should investors know about silver investing in Australia?

Silver remains a relatively untapped resource in Australia, which means that investors have plenty of major mining companies to choose from.

Australia's largest mine is the Cannington mine owned by South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF). It is ranked as the ninth largest silver-producing mine worldwide, with 11.6 million ounces produced in 2020.

The country's second biggest silver-producing mine is the Mount Isa zinc mine. It is owned by Mount Isa Mines, a subsidiary of Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF), and produced around 5.8 million ounces of silver in 2020. The Tritton copper mine, owned by Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS,OTC Pink:ARSRF), followed closely behind with nearly 4.5 million ounces produced in the same year.

Other notable Australian silver mines include the Golden Grove mine, which is owned by 29Metals (ASX:29M), and the Dugald River mine, which is owned by Metallic Minerals (ASX:MMG,TSXV:MMG,OTCQB:MMNGF). In 2020, these mines produced around 2.9 million and 2 million ounces of silver, respectively.

Australia's impressive silver-mining industry is well-positioned for further expansion, with Silver Mines (ASX:SVL,OTC Pink:SLVMF) planning to launch its Bowden silver project in 2023. This New South Wales-based silver mine is projected to produce around 6 million ounces of silver annually, which would make it the country's new second largest producer. The company hopes to capitalise on the promising solar panel market, which currently accounts for about 5.5 percent of all silver demand worldwide.

Moreover, Australian company Thomson Resources (ASX:TMZ,OTC Pink:TMZRF) bought the New South Wales-based Webb and Conrad silver projects from Silver Mines earlier this year in a transaction worth around US$8.6 million. The deal closed on March 31, and will enable Silver Mines to concentrate on its flagship Bowden project.

Investing in silver in Australia

There are many ways to invest in silver, including physical silver, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, options and futures. Choosing which investment route to take is all about balancing risk and reward.

Investing in physical silver is the most straightforward option: you simply buy a tangible piece of the precious metal in the form of bullion, official coins or medallions. Bullion is a bar or 1 ounce coin of solid silver with at least 99.9 percent purity. Official silver coins are currency produced by a government mint, while silver medallions resemble coins, but lack monetary value, .

The price of physical silver rises and falls alongside the metal's market value. Physical silver is a relatively safe investment, since its value can't be affected by third-party interference or bad business practices (risks characteristic of mining stocks). However, if you plan to trade often, the added costs of buying, selling and storing physical silver may make the investment not worth your while.

Investments in physical silver rose by 8 percent last year, boosted by silver's status as a safe asset and market bullishness on gold. In Australia, coins and medals fabrication increased by 35 percent year-over-year, making physical silver a smart choice for any risk-averse investor.

Of course, low risk often means low reward. If you're looking for a bigger payday, consider investing in silver-mining stocks instead. After all, when silver's market price goes up, it is often the case that the value of a mining stock could spike far higher than that of the physical metal. The disadvantage is that mining stocks are always risky — even when the silver market is strong, a mining endeavour can fail to pan out.

ETFs offer investors the best of both worlds. ETFs are a basket of varied equities, including physical metals and shares in mining companies. Much like individual stocks, they are liable to rise or fall in price according to the market, though they tend to be less risky than stocks.

In 2020, ETF investments were at an all-time-high, though Australia only has one silver ETF that includes the physical precious metal. Stocks are a much more common means of investing in silver in Australia. The country boasts over a dozen silver-mining companies, including South32 and Silver Mines, as well as Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM,TSX:NCM,OTC Pink:NCMGF), Golden Deeps (ASX:GED) and Investigator Resources (ASX:IVR).

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

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