UK-based mining company Kodal Minerals has closed a $117.75m fundraising deal to support its Bougouni lithium project in Mali.

The funding was provided by Chinese mining company Hainan Mining and its UK subsidiary Xinmao Investment. It was announced in January 2023.

This will finance the project’s development and start of production, as well as support ongoing exploration and development programmes for the project’s expansion.

Hainan invested $100m in Kodal’s UK unit Kodal Mining UK (KMUK), and made a $17.75m  equity subscription into Kodal, at 0.5p per share.

Consequently, Hainan now owns 14.72% of Kodal, along with a 51% stake in KMUK.

The Bougouni project is located 180km from Mali’s capital city, Bamako.

It covers a 350km² area and is claimed to have the potential to host several open-pit lithium mining operations.

Kodal acquired the project in late 2016 and its mining licence was secured in the fourth quarter of 2021 ahead of a planned mine development.

The company is now planning for the project’s construction phase.

Kodal is focused on developing the mining operation at the project in southern Mali, which is emerging as a lithium province.

It has already attracted several investors and off-take partners who want a secured, long-term supply of the commodity.

Since its acquisition, a swift exploration and development programme was implemented.

In early 2019, an updated mineral resource estimate was published.

It stated that the project has a mineral resource of 21.3 million tonnes (mt) at 1.11% of lithium oxide (Li₂O), with 11.6mt at 1.13% Li₂O in the indicated category and 9.7mt at 1.08% Li₂O in the inferred category.