Australian lithium miner Altura seeks to refinance loan, widens annual loss

Image by Altura Mining Ltd.

Australian lithium miner Altura Mining is seeking to refinance a 179.1 million Australian dollar ($120.96 million) loan due next August, it said on Monday, as it posted a wider loss for the full year.

It said there was “material uncertainty” as to whether the group would be able to continue as a going concern if it failed to meet sales and production forecasts and to refinance the loan facility by the due date.

Altura said it had breached financial covenants relating to its net debt to pre-tax earnings ratio on the loan for each quarter over the financial year, and had received a full waiver of the breach from the lenders after the year-end.

It said it had appointed Azure Capital to assist in the refinancing.

Australian lithium producers have been facing difficulties in cutting supply amid plummeting prices due to lower demand from Chinese customers.

Altura’s operating loss came in at 26.7 million Australian dollars ($18.03 million) for the year ended June 30, compared with a loss of 12.8 million Australian dollars a year ago.

The lithium miner has also been looking to divest its interests in the Tabalong Coal Project in Indonesia so as to focus on its flagship Altura Lithium Project which started commercial production in March.

($1 = 1.4810 Australian dollars)

(By Shreya Mariam Job; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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