IronRidge partners Piedmont Lithium for production of lithium in Ghana

GHANA – IronRidge Resources, an Australia-based minerals exploration company, has signed an agreement with Piedmont Lithium, a mineral exploration company, to commence lithium production in Ghana.

The agreement signed between the two firms aims at fully funding and accelerating the Ewoyaa Lithium Project to production.

Piedmont will invest approximately US$15 million to acquire a 9.47% equity interest in IRR (the subscription) and will appoint one director to IRR’s Board of Directors.

Piedmont will also have the opportunity to earn a 50% stake in IRR Ghana by investing: US$17 million to fund ongoing exploration and a definitive feasibility study over the next 24 months to earn an initial 22.5% project interest; and a further US$70 million in 2023 – 2025 to fund the construction of the Ewoyaa Project to earn an additional 27.5% project interest, which would bring the total to 50% ownership in IRR Ghana.

Piedmont and IRR have also entered into a binding SC6 supply agreement, conditioned on Piedmont completing its earn-in obligations, pursuant to which IRR will supply Piedmont 50% of IRR Ghana’s planned SC6 production (currently estimated to be 147 500 tpy) at market prices on a life-of-mine basis.

“With Piedmont’s established relationships with US based automakers, this is an outstanding opportunity for IronRidge to fully fund its industry-leading Ewoyaa Lithium Project through to production,” stated Vincent Mascolo, CEO of IronRidge.

“With the support and investment of Piedmont, along with the African mining expertise of IronRidge’s major shareholder Assore Limited, we look forward with great excitement to developing this industry leading asset.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for IronRidge to fully fund its industry-leading Ewoyaa Lithium Project.”

Vincent Mascolo – CEO, IronRidge

Lithium production in the country will make Ghana the first West African country to produce the soft, silvery-white alkali metal used in manufacturing batteries of mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles.

“Piedmont is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the U.S. and will bring vast experience and expertise to the partnership as we prepare to fast-track Ewoyaa to production,” Mr Mascolo further pointed out.

“This pathway to production transaction removes funding risks for IronRidge and its shareholders at a time where surety of supply to the enormous and rapidly growing North American EV and stored energy industry sectors is paramount.”

“I would like to thank our team on the ground in Ghana and all of our supportive stakeholders for their efforts and ongoing support in commercialising the Project. We will continue to update the market on this exciting new phase in due course.”

A study of the Ewoyaa lithium mine in the Central Region in January this year, supports a business case for 2.0 Mtpa lithium production operation with revenues exceeding US$1.55 billion.

Also speaking on the partnership of the two firms was President and CEO of Piedmont, Keith Phillips who asserted that, “Piedmont is delighted to be partnering with IronRidge to develop its outstanding Ewoya Lithium Project in Ghana.”

“We consider Ewoyaa to be among one of the world’s most promising spodumene projects, leveraging existing world class infrastructure including directly adjacent HV power, a major highway within 1 km of the site, and the major port of Takoradi less than 2 hours’ drive away.”

“Few hard-rock lithium projects worldwide can boast the proximity to existing operational infrastructure, lithium grade and a simple Dense Media Separation-only process route that will require very low upfront capital expenditure. As a Company seeking to support the production of lithium and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future, we look forward to providing a pathway to production at this industry-leading project,” he noted.

The subscription is expected to close in August 2021 subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent with the project investment expected to be staged over a 3 to 4 year period, leading to initial production in 2025.

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