UK agency 'interested' in financing Lake Resources' Argentina lithium project to aid EV battery makers

by John Shepherd
Britishvolt has been given planning approval to build what is set to be the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory, in Blyth, north-east England. Image: Britishvolt
Australia's Lake Resources revealed today that the UK’s export credit agency has expressed "strong interest” in covering the majority of funding needed for the lithium developer’s flagship Kachi project in Argentina.
The move comes as the UK seeks to secure raw material supply chains for gigafactory projects already under way and planned in the country.

Lake said it has received a formal expression of interest (EOI) from UK Export Finance to cover about 70% of the total project funding requirements for Kachi, in Argentina’s Catamarca Province.

The EOI indicated that total funding could be increased to include 70% of an expanded production plant to 50,000 tonnes per annum high purity lithium carbonate equivalent.

Final investment decision

However, Lake said the EOI is not a binding commitment and is subject to a series of standard project finance terms and due diligence, including suitable structured offtake contracts, the successful completion of a definitive feasibility study at Kachi and an environmental and social impact assessment.

Both the study and assessment are "well advanced” with a targeted completion date of the end of the first quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, Lake said it is well funded through to a final investment decision on construction finance for the project, which is expected in the middle of next year.

Lake’s MD Steve Promnitz said: "This offer is a watershed moment for Lake – to have a leading export credit agency willing to indicate financial support for Kachi provides an enormous vote of confidence in our clean energy project.”

In November 2018, Lake announced a maiden JORC resource at Kachi of 4.4 million tonnes (Mt) of contained lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), and an exploration target ranging between 8-17 Mt of LCE.
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