Lithium explorer Centaur Resources will consider other battery metal projects such as cobalt and vanadium after a $15 million float.
Meanwhile, Perth-based 3G Coal has launched an initial public offering to raise up to $6 million selling shares at 20c (details below).
Argentina-focused Centaur plans to issue up to 75 million shares at 20c each, raising $12.5 to $15 million ahead of an ASX listing in early November.
If fully subscribed, the IPO would give Centaur a market cap of $50 million on listing.
The company is confident it will fill its IPO and has had strong interest from investors.
Centaur is buying nine tenements, collectively known as the “Lobo Blanco project”, which spans more than 11,000 hectares in the Salar de Pastos Grandes Basin of the Salta Province, Argentina.
Argentina is part of South America’s infamous “lithium triangle”, which also extends through Chile and Bolivia.
About 85 per cent of world production comes from Chile, Argentina and Australia.
Lobo Blanco is a brine deposit.
Lithium brine deposits are found in salars (salt lakes). Nearly half of the world’s lithium production comes from brines in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.
A focus on all battery metals
While Centaur is a pure-play lithium explorer at the moment, it is open to dabbling in other battery metals.
“We will look at all battery metals,” managing director Brian Clifford told Stockhead.
“We are obviously strong believers in the underpinning demand. We will have a look at cobalt, we will have a look at vanadium.”
Centaur plans to use the cash raised under the IPO to fund the four acquisition deals and carry out exploration at Lobo Blanco.
The project doesn’t yet have a resource, but centaur says it is located near other brine deposits that host economic lithium grades.
Centaur is led by Robert Milbourne as chairman and Mr Clifford as managing director and CEO.
Mr Milbourne is the managing director of Mining Standards International, a mining advisory firm, and a corporate transactional resources lawyer with experience in all major commodities and most major jurisdictions around the world.
He has advised on mining and infrastructure transactions in Argentina and throughout South America, Africa and Asia.
Prior to founding Mining Standards International, Mr Milbourne was an equity partner of two international law firms, K&L Gates and Norton Rose Fulbright, where he focused primarily in mining sector transactions.
Mr Clifford, meanwhile, has nearly two decades of experience in the resources sector, including 10 years with BHP across a number of geographies, commodities and markets.
Prior to joining Centaur, he was managing director of AMCI Investments, which is responsible for AMCI’s Australian and South East Asia operations, acquisitions, divestments and joint venture project interests.
Mr Clifford also held several separate directorships and a COO role within the AMCI portfolio, and was a non-executive director of Malabar Coal and the general manager of AMCI’s coal trading desk.
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“This project I personally invested in before I joined the company in my role,” Mr Clifford noted.
“I actually stepped down from the managing director role of AMCI for Australia, which is a very large firm, and a lot of people said why did you do that to take a small cap lithium company?
“Very rarely do you see a tier one cost curve project with a very small market cap come past your desk.
“Normally the small market caps are because you have to do something mythical to them to turn them into something incredible, but this you just follow the program, permitting and develop it.”
Production a priority
Centaur’s plan is to get into production as quickly as possible and it has already secured land on and off the salar for fresh water access and to build a processing plant.
The company also already has intellectual property developed for the processing of lithium brine.
“I think you’ve got a critical space in the next four years to have your projects up and operational,” Mr Clifford said.
“Time is very much of the essence. I don’t believe there’s going to be an oversupply as much as people think. What I do believe is that there is going to be a lot of [merger and acquisition] activity in the lithium space.
“So you want to have your JORC [resource], you want to have your equities positioned as high as they can be so that you are in the best position possible for your equity holders and shareholders to make sure you take advantage of that.”
Centaur’s IPO opens on October 4 and closes on October 25. Centaur has penned in November 6 as its target listing date and will trade under ticker “CR3”.
3G Coal float
There is also a new coal explorer looking to make its ASX debut.
Perth-based 3G Coal has launched an IPO offering up to 30 million shares at 20c each to raise up to $6 million.
The junior explorer was originally formed as a copper explorer but couldn’t find a good project so decided to shift into metallurgical coal.
Metallurgical coal is a low-ash, low-sulphur and low-phosphorus coal that can be used to produce high-grade coking coal – an essential part of the steelmaking process.
There has been an uptick in the metallurgical coal and prices are now near to or above all-time highs, according UBS analyst Glyn Lawcock.
Mr Lawcock predicts new supply will be needed by early-mid 2020s.
3G is led by industry veteran Brett McLeod, who was the former head of major projects and investment for the world’s largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal.
Russell Moran is chairman, and the company’s largest shareholder, while Gino D’Anna and Stephen Thomas are directors.
Mr Moran and Mr D’Anna also run battery metals explorer MetalsTech (ASX:MTC).
3G is developing its wholly owned Groundhog South project in British Columbia, Canada.
Mr Moran told Stockhead the company wants to convert its “massive” exploration target of 2 to 3.3 billion tonnes of coal into a “world class ultra-low volatile PCI coal operation”.
The Groundhog South project is made up of 31 granted coal licences covering 361 sq km.
3G has recently been granted an initial five-year drilling permit and plans to start maiden drilling shortly after it makes its debut, which is penned in for November 30.
3G has been road showing in Sydney and Melbourne and has had a strong response to the IPO, Mr Moran said.
The offer will open on October 3 and close November 9. 3G will trade under the ticker “3GC”.