London-listed Marula Mining has secured a contract to make an initial trial shipment of high-grade lithium ore to a Chinese importer and exporter of metalliferous ores.
The contract involves the sale of 27.5 tonnes of material processed from historical stockpiles at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. The material has a specification of 6% to 6.5% lithium oxide grade on a free-on-board basis from the Port of Cape Town.
The sales price is set at $3,000 per tonne, based on a minimum grade of 6% lithium oxide. The payment for the trial shipment will be made upon delivery of the material to Cape Town, which is expected within the next two weeks.
Marula‘s board sees the agreement as a positive step towards further direct sales into China. The company is also in negotiations to terminate a previous offtake agreement with Southern Jade Resources and is finalizing long-term offtake agreements for spodumene and lithium products with various commodity trading groups based in Europe.
Marula CEO Jason Brewer stated that the company has received interest from multiple Chinese groups in their lithium mining and processing operations, and this initial shipment will enable Marula to enter the Chinese market. However, Brewer emphasized that the focus remains on securing a long-term offtake agreement with a global commodity trading group for future production from the Blesberg mine.
“While this agreement with a Chinese importer and exporter of metalliferous ores has the potential to open up other opportunities in China for Marula, it is important to note that our focus remains firmly on concluding our negotiations on a long-term offtake agreement with one of several global commodity trading groups for the production of lithium from Blesberg.
“The negotiations with the global commodity trading groups for an offtake agreement are ongoing for all or part of the future production from Blesberg,” Brewer said.