REUTERS: Australian lithium miner Firefinch said on Wednesday it signed a binding deal with China's Ganfeng Lithium to jointly develop and operate its Goulamina project in Mali, sending its shares soaring 25per cent.
Ganfeng, one of the world's biggest lithium producers, will make cash investments of US$130 million for a 50per cent stake in a joint venture company for the lithium project, Firefinch said.
The Chinese miner also agreed to a purchase up to 100per cent of the spodumene concentrate — from which the lithium is extracted — that will be produced at Goulamina across the life of the mine. A study conducted by Firefinch pegs the life at 23 years.
Firefinch expects to make a final investment decision (FID) on the project within six months of the deal's completion. Reaching an FID is a key condition for Ganfeng to make US$91 million worth of the funding.
Shares of Firefinch, on halt since Tuesday, jumped to as much as AUS$0.570 to their highest since April 2018. Ganfeng's shares, however, slipped about 4per cent on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Vasudha Kaukuntla in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)