Broker: Galaxy Resources well placed as a speculative buy
Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) is a lithium focused resources company, with assets spanning Australia, China, Canada and Argentina. Since June 2013, the new management team has taken the company through a series of significant financial restructuring initiatives to strengthen and improve the balance sheet. In April 2014, Galaxy announced the divestment of its processing plant in Jiangsu Province, China — a deal which held an enterprise value of $173.2 million. Galaxy is currently advancing plans to develop the Sal de Vida lithium and potash brine project in Argentina, situated in the “Lithium Triangle”, a region where Chile, Argentina and Bolivia meet, and which presently accounts for 60% of global lithium production. Galaxy also owns the Mt Cattlin spodumene mine near Ravensthorpe in Western Australia (now brought back into production by joint venture partner General Mining) and the James Bay lithium pegmatite project in Quebec, Canada.
As of Wednesday, Galaxy Resources had a market capitalization of A$487 million, and its share price at the close stood at $A0.385. By contrast, Perth-based Strachan Corporate says its sum-of-the-parts valuation indicates an achievable target value of A$866 million, and 64c per share.
Galaxy and its operating partner General Mining Corp (ASX:GMM) have commissioned the re-engineered Mt Cattlin lithium mine near Ravensthorpe. The partners aim to lift output to 190,000 tonnes a year of spodumene concentrate. Mt Cattlin has pre-sold 60,000 tonnes of concentrate for $36 million (or $600/tonne) for delivery this year. A further 120,000 tonnes of concentrate has been contracted to a buyer for delivery in 2017.
Strachan notes that Galaxy is also positioned to become a low cost supplier of lithium compounds from its 100%-owned Sal de Vida lithium brine project in Argentina.
Demand for lithium compounds is forecast to grow by 20,000 tonnes a year over the coming 10 years. Battery sales for power storage applications and electric vehicles are set to accelerate in the early 2020s, lifting growth beyond 2025.
Strachan Corporate sums up its view thus: “Galaxy offers sound exposure to the booming market for lithium compounds. Cash flow from Mt Cattlin along with the establishment of development options at Sal de Vida and James Bay paint a growth profile beyond 2020 … Galaxy is well placed as a speculative buy in the lithium industry”.
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Readers of InvestorIntel who have been following Galaxy Resources will be up to date on the situation at Mt Cattlin and Sal de Vida. But probably the James Bay operation in northern Quebec is not as widely understood. So here’s the view from Strachan Corporate of that project.
Galaxy has agreed to farm out 50% of this pegmatite project, a deposit that holds indicated and inferred resources of 22.1 million tonnes grading at 1.28 Li2O, which is similar in size and extent to the Mt Cattlin resource. Strachan says metallurgical test work indicates that James Bay can be adapted to the same processing route employed at Mt Cattlin to produce spodumene concentrate. General Mining has to spend $5 million on development work at James Bay to earn a 50% interest.
At James Bay, the pegmatite dykes occur in 15 separate swarms along a corridor of 4km long and 300 metres wide. Strachan says individual pegmatite bodies can be up to 60 metres wide and 100 metres in length with large spodumene crystals – “which offer excellent targets for mining and processing”.
Footnote: The Strachan Corporate report also offers this glimpse of the Australian lithium scene: “The roll of ASX listed companies with interests in lithium has expanded to at least 33. Interest in the metal is growing such that a new explorer is being added about every week”.
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