Australian lithium firm Altura Mining secures $202 million financing package

Australia’s Altura Mining has secured a new financing package valued at US$202 million, in a deal that should prop up the company in a deteriorating lithium market.

Under the vital financing package, the company’s current lenders have extended an existing loan facility of $161 million for an additional three years until August 2023.

Altura also said it had raised $7.42 million through a placement with institutional investors with participation from members of the Altura board, plus a further $33 million in standby equity financing.

The financing package comes amid lithium prices stooping to fresh lows in 2020, following a 36% fall last year. The price of spodumene concentrate fell another 2.6% in January, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

“We are pleased by the support shown by our existing lenders, their belief in the Altura Lithium Project, management and the global lithium sector,” said Altura’s managing director James Brown.

“The combined sum of the financing package gives us considerable balance sheet strength and working capital headroom so we can continue to push through this period of market weakness.”

The Altura Lithium Project was brought into commercial production in March 2019 but is not yet operating profitably.