British-based, Africa-focused mining company Andrada Mining has announced it has raised £7.7m ($10m) and commenced activities at its newly completed lithium and tantalum plants in Namibia.
The £7.7m investment came in the form of 77 loan notes, each worth £100,000, from to both new and existing investors.
Andrada issued the loan notes as an alternative funding mechanism to deals which are yet to be finalised, namely $5.8m in debt facility from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and $12.5m from Orion Resource Partners.
The £7.7m, combined with the DBN debt security, should cover Andrada’s financing requirements for the next 15–18 months, the company estimates.
Andrada will use the funding to continue the undergoing expansion of its tin, tantalum and lithium exploration and production operations in Namibia, as well as for general working capital.
Alongside the loan announcement, Andrada revealed it had completed the construction of and commissioned a new lithium bulk sampling plant and a tantalum production circuit.
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“The completion of the construction phase of the lithium bulk sampling facility is an important milestone for Andrada, as it allows the company to advance its exciting lithium expansion programme,” Viljoen stated.
The company currently has three mining licences in the country, including the Uis mine, which it believes has the potential to be “a global lithium supplier”.
He added that the company will undertake “a lithium feasibility study to further consolidate its competitive lithium advantage within the Erongo region of Namibia”.
The facility will aim to produce a minimum of 2,400 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium, with a top end of as much as 10,000tpa. Andrada produced a first bulk of lithium concentrate in May, in anticipation of full-scale lithium production.
In June, Andrada CEO Anthony Viljoen stated that the company was looking to secure investment for lithium uptake before the year’s end and that as-yet-unnamed parties had shown interest.
Once lithium production is under way, the company will become the first lithium producer to be listed on the AIM branch of the London Stock Exchange.
Andrada is already a major producer of tin in Namibia, posting record tin-in-concentrate levels in the first quarter of 2023.