Britain's Bacanora sells 30% stake to Chinese firm

Site of Bacanora lithium mine
Bacanora Minerals

China’s Ganfeng Lithium, the country’s second-biggest producer of the electric car raw material, has agreed to buy a 30% stake in London-listed Bacanora Minerals, which is building a lithium mine in Mexico.

Bacanora said Hong Kong-listed Ganfeng would pay £14.4m in cash for the stake at a price of 25p a share, just below its current share price of 26.75p a share.

Ganfeng, which has deals to supply lithium to Volkswagen and Tesla, will help Bacanora commission its Sonora project, in return for long-term supplies of lithium.

Peter Secker, chief executive of Bacanora, said the company now had “a clear line of sight towards commencing construction” of the project.

DRC slowdown worries Glencore investors


Shares in Glencore are down almost 3% this morning, after the miner slashed its projections for copper production in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"A full and comprehensive business review recently commenced, targeting efficiency and recovery improvements, better product quality realisations and significant cost reductions over the remainder of 2019 and into 2020," the company said of its DRC operations.

Glencore's overall copper production was also 7% lower than in the first quarter last year, mainly due to flooding in Queensland and safety issues in Zambia.

South West mining investment 'highest in 40 years'

Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Experts in mining say more money is being spent in the hope of restarting mines across the South West of England than at any point in the last 40 years.

Interest has been boosted by the value of tin, which has increased by nearly 60% in the last three years.

Canadian mining firm Strongbow is nearly ready to empty flood waters from South Crofty, which has been closed since 1998, but still needs to raise about £100m more on the stock market before it can get as far as mining tin commercially.

South Crofty

Fundraising is behind schedule, partly because uncertainty surrounding Brexit has made investors cautious.

But chief executive Richard Williams is confident they will continue to make significant progress.

We've got sufficient cash in the treasury to last at least another 15 months to 18 months and we fully expect to be way past where we are today at that point. We expect to have completed construction on the water treatment plant and in the midst of the de-watering process."

Richard WilliamsPresident and CEO, Strongbow Exploration

Cornwall Council is ready to invest £1m of public money to help the mine restart, as long as other investors come forward in sufficient numbers, too.

Council leader Adam Paynter said: "It's about making sure that they get the whole package together to be able to start the mining before any of Cornwall Council's money goes in."

tungsten sample

In east Cornwall, Anglo-Australian company Cornwall Resources has been test drilling for tin and tungsten (pictured above) at Redmoor mine in Kelly Bray, and they say results show that they're sitting on the largest undeveloped tin-tungsten deposit in the world.

While in Roach, Australin firm Metampere aims to extract lithium from the hard rocks associated with china clay.

When South Crofty closed, I thought we wouldn't see any other activity in this area, possibly in my lifetime. What we've seen over the last 10 years is a significant increase, and in the last three years, we're starting to see companies explore across South West England, but Cornwall in particular."

Dr Robin ShailCamborne School of Mines