There was more buying than selling by directors last week, but investors sat up and took notice when one key mining identity offloaded more than half his stake in one of his companies for roughly $4.6 million.

Selling down

AVZ Minerals’ (ASX:AVZ) chairman Klaus Eckhof sold 32.5 million shares over three days last week.

The news sent the share price of the Congo-focused lithium explorer down more than 42 per cent last Thursday.

Carl Popal, executive chairman of multi-commodity explorer Eclipse Metals (ASX:EPM), also sold down some of his stake after revealing his plans to step down for “personal reasons”.

Mr Popal banked $40,000 from the sale of 8 million shares. He will remain on the Eclipse board as a non-executive director.

Forced buy

There was mass buying of shares last week by directors on the board of green energy company Tilt Rewables (ASX:TLT).

It turns out directors are obligated to spend half of their salary on buying shares in the New Zealand-based company.

Collectively the six board members, including chairman Bruce Harker, spent around $27,500 on acquiring more shares in Tilt.

New Zealand energy provider Mercury NZ is looking to buy up to 26.8 per cent of Tilt for $NZ144 million ($133.2 million).

Tilt was spun out of another Kiwi energy company Trust Power in 2016 with technology that tilts windmills and solar panels towards the source of generation.

Last month the company posted a 117 per cent drop from profit to loss which it largely blamed on winds refusing to blow in New Zealand and Australia.

Big buys

One of the largest buys last week was made by a director of utility Pacific Energy (ASX:PEA).

Executive director Kenneth Hall paid around $10.4 million to acquire shares as part of Pacific Energy’s recent rights issue.

Chairman Cliff Lawrenson and non-executive director Stuart Foster also picked up shares in the rights issue, spending $283,504 between them.

The rights issue closed oversubscribed, raising $5.2 million more than the targeted $21.4 million.

Another multi-million dollar share purchase was made by a director of sleep apnoea device maker SomnoMed (ASX:SOM).

Hamish Corlett paid out $2.4 million to acquire around 1.1 million extra shares on-market.

Ian Chalmers, technical director of rare earths explorer Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK), spent $254,070 to pick up another 1 million shares.

Meanwhile, two directors of junior explorer Black Mountain Resources (ASX:BMZ) picked up the shortfall shares from the company’s recent rights issue.

Interim chairman Simon Grant-Rennick and non-executive director Maurice Feilich each agreed to pick up the remaining shares for a combined $210,000.

Mr Feilich was issued a further 5 million shares on the conversion of 50,000 convertible notes.

Small trades

The smallest trades last week were made by directors of kitchen appliance distributor Astivita (ASX:AIR) and insurance broker Ensurance (ASX:ENS).

Astivita director Lev Mizikovsky spent $844.03 to buy 12,985 more shares.

Ensurance non-executive director Adam Davey only spent $341.56 on topping up his shareholding by a further 8758 shares. Normally the minimum is $500 a trade.

Opting in

There were quite a few directors exercising options last week, including the chairman and a director of nickel and cobalt explorer Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL).

Executive director Ian Buchhorn injected $1.1 million into the junior explorer after he converted a bunch of loyalty options at 77c each.

Chairman Katina Law stumped up $128,332 in cash to convert her loyalty options.

A pretty good deal considering Ardea’s share price closed at 97c last Friday.

Ardea said over 90 per cent of the options on issue were exercised, giving it an extra $17.5 million to advance its Goongarrie nickel and cobalt project in Western Australia.