“[CAA Mining] are currently on a drilling campaign and depending on how those drill results come, we are looking at increasing our investments in CAA Mining in the next few months,” he tells The Africa Report. “We’[d] like to increase [our stake] to 100%.”
Moab’s share prices shot up from around 0.007 to 0.013 in Australia when it announced an acquisition of a 15% stake in CAA Mining’s Ghana assets in early June. The deal was sealed with a $1m investment in three lithium projects undertaken by CAA Mining in Ghana.
Being its first investment in Africa, Moab’s success in Ghana will determine its possible expansion across the continent, says Day.
Lithium and electric vehicle ambitions are driving investor interests in Africa, where the EV industry remains at nascent stages despite the continent’s rich deposits of lithium, a key component of EV batteries.
Atlantic Lithium, also headquartered in Australia, is the first to tap into Ghana by developing the Ewoyaa project, which is on track to become West Africa’s first lithium mine after the discovery of lithium in commercial quantities. It is estimated at 35.3Mt with a value of over $4.8bn over the life span of the mine.
CAA Mining’s projects are adjacent to Atlantic Lithium’s Ewoyaa project in the south-western part of Ghana, which fuels Day’s optimism over possible commercial lithium volumes.
“The three projects are striking[ly] contiguous with Atlantic Lithium’s Ewoyaa discovery and have a similar geology as Ewoyaa, so we are optimistic,” he says.
CAA Mining is party to an earn-in agreement to acquire up to 85% of Lithium Resources Ghana Ltd., which holds six prospecting licences covering an area of 730km2 in the south of Ghana for $8m.
Moab’s investment is expected to enable CAA Mining to continue with the prospecting campaign and present results from its tests around September.
“Our partnership with CAA Mining means that we can bring in the needed capital,” Day says.
Investors like Africa, they like Ghana and they like the commodity lithium and looking at the project next door, the Ewoyaa deposit that is a multibillion dollar deposit
“They’ve spent $500,000 to date and we just invested AUS$ 1.5m [nearly US$1m] and Moab will be able to raise more money on the ASX [Australian Stock Exchange] and that will be financial support for the project.”
For its investors, Moab’s decision could lead a turnaround after a slight downturn in share prices earlier this year. Besides Ghana, the company has assets in its home country Australia as well as the US.
“We have some other countries [in mind], but we like Ghana. Investors like Africa, they like Ghana and they like the commodity lithium and looking at the project next door, the Ewoyaa deposit that is a multibillion dollar deposit,” Day says.
“One of the advantages of doing business in Africa is that red tapes are not as vast. It’s easier to start drilling, get to exploration and get things moving. We want to see progress and don’t want to see projects stalled.”
The government of Ghana says it is committed to supporting lithium mining as a burgeoning exploration area and is planning an initial commitment of $30m to Atlantic Lithium’s business.
For Day, the government support for Atlantic Lithium is a sign that “we’ve got bright chances of success there” through Moab’s partnership with CAA mining.
Based on Day’s personal experience, finding a local partner in Africa with local expertise can be challenging, which makes the CAA Mining acquisition valuable.
CAA Mining Ghana Limited was founded in 2018 by UK-based Zimbabwean businessman Douglas Chikohora, who had previously filled senior managerial positions the in mining sector across Africa including in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Sierra Leone.
“Finding a project in another country in Africa, which has in-country support and [an] in-country exploration team, can be difficult,” Day says. “We’re relying on our local partners [CAA Mining]; we trust and they have the experience to deliver.”
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