Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) shares climbed today on news it had received unconditional approval from the China State Administration for Market Regulation for its transaction with Albemarle. It came on the same day the Company released its June quarter activities update.
The Company advises that it has been notified by Albemarle Corporation, Inc. that unconditional approval has been obtained from the China State Administration for Market Regulation for the transaction between MRL and Albemarle, as announced in December 2018.
Completion of the transaction remains conditional on approval from Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and from certain third parties with interests in the underlying tenements.
The Company has also released its quarterly exploration and mining activities report for the last three months of the 2019 financial year.
· Mineral Resources completed a debut US$700 million 8.125% 8-year Senior Unsecured Notes Offering (ASX: 23/04/19). MRL has used the net cash proceeds from the offering to refinance certain of its existing credit facilities and will use the remainder for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures.
· Iron ore shipments totalled 3.3 million tonnes (Mt) in Q4 FY19, in line with the previous quarter, and up 49% on the prior corresponding period in FY18.
· Koolyanobbing was in full production during the quarter, operating at its target annualised run rate of 6Mtpa of iron ore production. Additional road train haulage units were obtained and a fourth rail consist was brought online during the quarter, with plans to increase production to 7.5Mtpa by Q1 FY20.
· Spodumene concentrate production from the Mt Marion Lithium Project in Q4 FY19 was 15% less than the previous quarter, however the proportion of high-grade 6% spodumene concentrate product increased to 69% compared to 66% in the previous quarter.
· Construction of the Wodgina Lithium Project’s three-stage 750,000 dry tonne per annum spodumene concentrate plant and associated non-process infrastructure progressed during the quarter. Train one is complete with the current focus on optimising lithium recoveries, train two commissioning is underway and construction of train three is progressing. First ore is expected in Q1 FY20. The Wodgina aerodrome runway is complete with the first charter flight planned for Q2 FY20.
· The binding Asset Sale and Share Subscription Agreement (Sale Agreement) between MRL and Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB, Albemarle) regarding the sale of a 50% interest in the Wodgina Lithium Project continues to be subject to approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Australia and China and third party consents. Completion of the transaction is still expected to occur during the 2019 calendar year (CY19).
· Construction of the Mt Marion All-in 6% Concentrate Upgrade Project (Ai6) is complete. A study is presently underway to optimise production levels while managing water and energy demands. Until the study is complete (expected Q1 FY20), Mt Marion will continue to produce both 6% and 4% spodumene concentrate.
· A RC drilling program was completed during the quarter at Mt Marion. The program included approximately 6,200m of RC drilling focused on exploration and resource extension holes and has delivered increases of indicated and inferred resources.
Mineral Resources will release its 2019 Financial Year (FY19) full year results on Thursday, 22 August 2019.
Following the results release, management will host a conference call at 12:00 AWST (14:00 AEST) on Thursday, 22 August 2019. See the link below for more details.