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Bacanora seeks $60m to pay for stage 1 of Sonora project

Ore samples being fed to the pilot plant at the Sonora project site. Image from Bacanora Lithium.

Bacanora Lithium (AIM:BCN) announced on Tuesday a proposed issuance of new ordinary shares to raise gross proceeds of approximately $60 million to finance the construction of Stage 1 of its flagship Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

The capital cost estimated for Stage 1 production of 17,500 tonnes per annum of LCE at the project has been optimised by Bacanora to $407 million from initial estimates of $420 million. In addition to the capital cost, the company estimates that $37 million in additional funding will be needed for working capital purposes.

Yesterday, the company reported that Ganfeng has increased its stake in the project to 50%.

Sonora is regarded as one of the world’s larger known clay lithium deposits. First production is expected in 2023

With a Measured plus Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of over 5 million tonnes (‘Mt’) (comprising 1.9 Mt of Measured Resources and 3.1Mt of Indicated Resources) of lithium carbonate equivalent and an additional Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.7 Mt of LCE, Sonora is regarded as one of the world’s larger known clay lithium deposits. First production is expected in 2023. 

Following Ganfeng’s investment in 2019, the Chinese company has been providing engineering and commissioning services for the hydrometallurgical part of the processing plant that produces the final battery-grade product.

Lithium prices are soaring in China on the back of heavy demand for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

Benchmark’s battery grade lithium carbonate midpoint price (EXW China, ≥99.0% Li2CO3) in January surged by over 40% compared to the same month last year to 61,000 yuan per tonne (~$9,450 a tonne), the highest level since June 2019.