Lake Resources secures Citi and JP Morgan to lead Kachi to final credit approval

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Lake Resources is targeting the first equivalent production of lithium carbonate at Kachi in 2024.

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) has appointed Citi and JP Morgan as co-coordinators for the debt financing needed to develop its flagship Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina’s Catamarca province.

The main investment banks were selected following a competitive bidding process, which attracted “strong interest” from international banks as well as tentative support from export credit agencies.

Lake noted that Citi and JP Morgan were seen as the “strongest combination” to coordinate the financial package to advance the Kachi project, which will produce about 50,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent.

A pre-feasibility study was released last year and gave the project an estimated capital outlay of US$544 million.

The UK Export Credit Agency (UKEF) has already provided indicative support to finance 70% of the total capital required to develop Kachi.

Canadian export credit agency Export Development of Canada also said it would participate alongside UKEF.

Working together, Citi and JP Morgan are expected to move the project through to final credit approval, including coordination of workflows between lenders and third-party analysis on key project milestones.

A definitive feasibility study is underway at Kachi, which will determine the amount of debt financing required.

Lake chief executive Steve Promnitz said the company was “pleased to partner with Citi and JP Morgan.”

Kachi Lithium Project

Lake develops Kachi with a focus on the highest ESG (environment, social, governance) credentials.

The company uses Lilac Solutions’ “truly disruptive” lithium extraction technology, based on its proprietary ion exchange process.

“We’ve taken ion exchange, a non-mining technology solution that’s ubiquitous in the water treatment industry, and through cutting-edge innovations, we’ve created a unique technology for lithium extraction. , which we believe will reduce operating costs and boost the recovery of lithium for lithium chemical production from Kachi brines,” said Dave Snydacker, General Manager of Lilac.

Compared to conventional brine processing technologies, Lilac’s method is less expensive, with higher lithium recoveries and a much smaller environmental footprint that includes returning all water to its source.

In exchange for the technology, Lilac owns a 25% stake in Kachi. Lilac is also contributing US$50 million to the development of the project, which is its pro-rata share.

“Together, we are contributing to a clean energy future that aligns with investor, lender and buyer requirements that new lithium projects meet strict ESG standards,” Promnitz said.

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