ADY 7.69% 1.2¢ admiralty resources nl.

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    Lithium powers on

    APART from having a good deal of money in the bank, the other winning strategy in these times is having a metal whose price and/or demand is heading for the basement.

    It was reported in London's The Times on Thursday that Japan's largest automotive and electronics giants are "poised to embark on a worldwide scramble for lithium". That is the metal needed for batteries in electric cars. The newspaper added that it was considered possible that companies such as Toyota and Panasonic could even go into the lithium mining business.

    The most advanced player is Galaxy Resources (GXY), which said on Thursday that its lithium bankable feasibility study was well under way at its Ravensthorpe project in WA. The first pit location has been chosen and this is expected to provide lithium minerals for five years. Galaxy is still refining its costings -- presumably to get them down, like every other emerging miner -- but expects to give the mine the green light shortly after New Year.

    Not so immune to chill winds was the other lithium hopeful, Admiralty Resources (ADY). Its net cash outflows in the September quarter were $6.83 million, and the bank balance at the end of the period was $2.19 million. Releasing announcements on the last day of the quarterly reporting season is a guarantee of little or no press coverage, and so it was with Admiralty reporting it had signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its Argentinian lithium interests for $36.3 million, $25.7 million of which will be used to pay off debt and the remainder to finance its iron ore operations.

    The sale includes the two mining tenements in Argentina and full rights over the patent application for the production of lithium carbonate from brines.

    The buyer is a company called Charge Resources. When we tried to get a little more information for the investors out there, we ran into a brick wall at Admiralty. The new executive director, John Anderson, was unavailable, as were other directors.

    The only sliver of information we could chip away from the brick wall was that the lithium interests were sold off because they were the company's only saleable asset for the sort of money needed for debt retirement and that Charge was a company registered in Victoria with one director -- but, presumably, some considerable money behind it.

 
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