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Battery giant backs St George Mining for WA lithium hunt

Updated: Apr 19


St George Mining has secured key investment from Shanghai Jayson New Energy Materials. Credit: File

Global battery industry giant Shanghai Jayson New Energy Materials has become St George Mining’s biggest shareholder after grabbing $3 million worth of the West Perth-based lithium explorer’s shares.


The company says the significant investment will enable it to better explore its portfolio of hard-rock lithium projects in Western Australia, with a priority focus on the flagship Mt Alexander operation.


Jayson, a globally-significant supplier to the clean energy sector, now has a 11.73 per cent holding in St George after buying its new package at 3.8 cents a share. The company’s stock closed today at 4c.


St George had already captured the attention of major operators in the battery and critical metals sectors, with ATL Investments recently seizing a $3 million equity in the company’s subsidiary, Lithium Star. Management also recently secured commitments for a $2 million placement of new shares to domestic and international investors, boosting its cash balance by a tasty total of $8 million.


It has vowed to use its new money to further its Mt Alexander play, in addition to exploring its other prospective WA lithium projects.


St George is delighted at this additional investment – a clear demonstration of Jayson’s faith in the potential of the Company’s lithium projects that builds on its initial investment in St George a year ago. We welcome Jayson as St George’s largest shareholder as we work together to accelerate the development of the Company’s critical minerals business. Jayson has a long‐term investment focus with a history of successful global partnerships across the battery sector supply chain, including upstream mining assets. St George Mining executive chairman John Prineas

Mr Prineas said Mt Alexander represented a “dominant “landholding in the emerging Mt Ida lithium province and predicted the company could control more than 16km of a prospective pegmatite corridor parallel to the Copperfield Granite. He said the Jayson partnership would be a key to turning that into reality in a region also being explored by mining giants including Hancock Prospecting, Mineral Resources and IGO.


St George’s next phase of exploration work at Mt Alexander is underway, with a focus on testing several new lithium targets using soil sampling, pegmatite field mapping and outcrop sampling. The project area comprises seven contiguous exploration licences and one prospecting Licence, all but one fully owned by the company.


Its landholding has extensive exposure of the contact between the Mt Alexander greenstone sequence and the Copperfield Granite, which is part of a large, regional lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) corridor that hosts Delta Lithium’s major discovery of 14.6 million tonnes at 1.2 per cent lithium oxide at its nearby Mt Ida project.


St George’s areas of interest include an 8km‐long zone around its Manta prospect, where drilling intersected a 121m-thick fractionated pegmatite and a 4km‐long zone of the Jailbreak prospect that has thrown up drill intersections from multiple lithium‐bearing pegmatites with values of up to 1.8 per cent lithium oxide and rock‐chip samples returning values up to 3.25 per cent lithium oxide.


Jayson is the world’s leading producer of cathode precursor materials for lithium‐ion batteries and its market‐leading credentials in new-energy materials make it an attractive strategic partner for St George, which says it will work to leverage its partner’s substantial financial and technical capabilities.


The Chinese battery minerals group first invested in St George a year ago and it will have the right to acquire 25 per cent of any lithium products from the company’s projects, subject to finalisation of off-take agreements once a JORC-compliant resource is defined.


The latest findings by the International Energy Agency regarding electric vehicles (EVs), noted that sales are set to increase by about 2.75 times by 2030. The agency also predicts that by 2030, 65 per cent of all cars sold in the European Union will be electric and 100 million EVs will be on the road in China.


It is music to the ears of a well-funded lithium explorer such as St George, which is keen to find deposits in exploration hotspots such as Mt Alexander to help meet the increasing demand for supply.


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