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MRL on the hunt for $1.75b


Mineral Resources (MRL) is seeking to raise $US1.25 billion ($1.75 billion) in a senior unsecured notes offer to fund “general corporate purposes”.

Split across two tranches, $US625 million ($879.9 million) will be due in 2027 with 8 per cent interest to be paid on May 1 and November 1 each year, commencing on November 1 this year. The same amount will be due in 2030 with 8.5 per cent interest to be paid on the same dates as tranche one.

MRL said part of the proceeds would go towards supporting capital expenditures.

The major miner has announced several measures in recent months to uplift its Mt Marion and Wodgina lithium (MARBL) joint ventures (JVs) in Western Australia.

MRL has agreed, alongside its 50/50 JV partner Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co, to upgrade the Mt Marion processing facilities.

The two-stage plant expansion will increase the installed annual plant capacity from 450,000 tonnes to 900,000 tonnes of mixed grade product by the end of 2022.

MRL’s Wodgina restart plans remain on track, with the restart of spodumene concentrate production from Train 1 well progressed. The company is targeting first spodumene concentrate in May 2022.

The MARBL JV has agreed to accelerate the resumption of production from Train 2, with first spodumene concentrate from this train expected in July 2022.

By the end of 2022, the MARBL JV is expected to review the state of the global lithium market and assess timing for the start-up of Train 3 and the possible construction of Train 4. Each of these trains has a nameplate capacity of 250,000 dry metric tonnes of spodumene product.

MRL has also been scoping the viable development of a magnetite project in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia. The company has conducted a preliminary drilling program at its Koolyanobbing project with 30,000m of drilling planned for the December quarter of 2022.

The notes offer is expected to be settled in New York on May 2 and will be subject to customary conditions.

Update: On May 3, MRL announced it had completed the $US1.25 billion senior unsecured notes offer.

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