Australian miner Leo Lithium Ltd. said Mali has suspended operations of unrefined lithium ore from its Goulamina project, a joint venture with China’s Ganfeng Lithium Group Co.
(Bloomberg) — Australian miner Leo Lithium Ltd. said Mali has suspended operations of unrefined lithium ore from its Goulamina project, a joint venture with China’s Ganfeng Lithium Group Co.
Crushing of direct shipping ore — an unprocessed form of material — has been immediately stopped while discussions with Mali’s Ministry of Mines are pending, according to a filing to Australia’s stock exchange. Leo Lithium plummeted as much as 55% Monday, its first day of trading since halting mid-July.
The Australian miner said the suspension won’t delay “any aspect of the project” and the first spodumene concentrate production remains on schedule for the second quarter of 2024. “Mining continues as per the pre-existing plan and mined ore is being stockpiled,” it said.
Leo Lithium said in Monday’s statement it had received correspondence from the Malian mines ministry on July 17 about direct shipping ore, the status of the government’s 10% stake and overall status of project progress. Mali has also formed a commission to examine these items.
Read More: Malian Lawmakers Approve Code to Raise State’s Stake in Mining
The African nation’s parliament adopted a new mining code in August, requiring miners to cede 10% in their projects to the state. Leo Lithium said initial documents have been provided to Mali’s government on the transfer of the 10% stake, and Mali has an option to subscribe for an additional 10% interest at market value, according to the filing.
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