First loans approved under the AU$2 billion Critical Minerals Facility

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The first loans under the federal government’s Critical Minerals Facility have been conditionally approved.

The first loans under the government’s recently established Critical Minerals Facility, worth a total of A$239 million, were made to ASX-listed EcoGraf and stock exchange-listed Renascor Resources. Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan said the projects will promote Australia as a trusted supplier of key minerals to the world.

“The government’s support for these projects through the AU$2 billion Critical Minerals Facility is a clear demonstration of our belief in the potential of Australia’s critical minerals sector,” Tehan said. “At a time when global demand for smartphones, electric vehicles and other technologies is booming, this commitment from the Australian Government strongly positions Australia for the future in the critical minerals sector. » Minister of Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the loans will pay long-term dividends to the national economy.

“The potential in the critical minerals sector is huge and these loans will support two important projects that will expand Australia’s footprint and reputation in this rapidly growing industry,” Pitt said. “It will build on a resource sector that already provides more than 365,000 direct jobs to Australians and is expected to contribute a record $379 billion in exports this financial year.”

EcoGraf will receive up to $40 million in funding from the Critical Minerals Facility to support its Australian 20,000 tpy battery anode materials facility, which will be built in the Rockingham-Kwinana strategic industrial area, and would use the company’s environmentally superior resources and cost-effective purification technology to produce high-quality battery anode material using natural flake graphite for export to Asia, Europe and North America .

The project was previously approved by the federal government, which granted it major project status, and was granted lead agency status by the state government.

The proposed loan is subject to a number of conditions relating to the completion of all due diligence to the satisfaction of Export Finance Australia, the successful construction and commissioning of the initial 5,000 t/a and the execution of material agreements for the construction of the extension, operations and sales agreements.

Meanwhile, Renascor Resources has received conditional approval for an A$185 million loan to finance the development of its Siviour graphite project in South Australia.

The Sivour project, which also previously achieved major project status, comprises a graphite mine and concentrator located on the Eyre Peninsula and a downstream purified spherical graphite manufacturing plant located in Port Adelaide.

The project is set to become the first integrated graphite mine and battery anode material operation outside of China, positioning Australia as a significant player in the global battery industry and electric vehicle markets. .

“We are extremely pleased to have received conditional approval from the Australian Government for this loan facility enabling the project, and to receive such approval under the Australian Government’s AU$2 billion Critical Minerals Facility. said Renascor CEO David Christensen. “The Siviour Graphite Project represents a significant opportunity for Australia, and South Australia in particular, to develop world-class, globally competitive downstream processing capability in a critical mineral that is fundamental to the development of the electric vehicle revolution. The support from the Australian Government and Export Finance Australia is a significant and tangible endorsement of this opportunity and of Renascor’s ambition to become one of the world’s leading purified spherical graphite suppliers.

Approval of the Renascor loan facility is subject to a number of conditions, including the completion of all due diligence to the satisfaction of Export Finance Australia. Satisfaction of all approval conditions and completion of full documentation will coincide with a final investment decision expected in 2022.

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