AFR: Big Core Lithium block crosses; fingers point to Chinese backers


Broker Petra Capital crossed a line of 46.4 million shares in Core Lithium on Wednesday, worth $48 million and making up about 2.7 per cent of the company.

According to Bloomberg data, the trade was done at $1.05 a share – a 14 per cent discount to the last close, suggesting the seller was motivated to shift the stock.

Fingers pointed at Core Lithium’s substantial shareholders, Gangfeng and Yahua, as the likely sellers.

Australia does not produce lithium onshore, so the ASX-listed company has deals with Gangfeng and Sichuan Yahua as its “converters”.

In August last year Gangfeng made a $34 million investment in the Australian company, buying in at 33.8¢ per share. At the time, this was a 10 per cent premium to its 10-day volume-weighted average price.

The seller is getting out at a time when Core Lithium is looking to make the move from explorer to producer.

On Tuesday, the company posted drill results for its Finniss operations near Darwin. It said it was on track to complete a lithium shipment before year-end, after uncovering spodumene ore in its Grants open pit.

Core Lithium is the fourth-largest ASX-listed lithium miner, behind Pilbara Minerals, Allkem and Liontown Resources. It has a market capitalisation of $2 billion.

Source: The Australian Financial Review