Alpha HPA and Renascor score A$585m in loans for critical minerals projects

17th April 2024 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Alpha HPA and Renascor score A$585m in loans for critical minerals projects

Australian PM Anthony Albanese

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday announced the federal government’s support for two critical minerals projects in Queensland and South Australia, a move aimed at fostering local manufacturing and creating jobs.

Alpha HPA is set to receive A$400-million in new loans to establish Australia’s first high-purity alumina (HPA) processing facility in the key economic hub of Gladstone. Concurrently, Renascor Resources is set to benefit from a A$185-million loan to propel its Siviour graphite concentrator facility in the Eyre Peninsula.

These financial injections will be facilitated by Export Finance Australia (EFA) through the government's A$4-billion Critical Minerals Facility, as well as through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and EFA's commercial account.

“We are building a future made in Australia with secure jobs in our regions. Today we are demonstrating what that means here in Gladstone and in South Australia,” asserted Albanese.

Following the announcement, the share prices of the Sydney-listed companies experienced a notable surge. Alpha HPA’s stock increased by about 12% to A$1.14 a share, while Renascor’s stock witnessed a 29% spike to A$0.11 apiece.

The Alpha HPA facility will use Australian-owned intellectual property and technology to process HPA, a crucial mineral used in LED lighting, semiconductors, lithium-ion batteries, and other advanced applications.

The project is expected to generate about 490 jobs during construction and more than 200 jobs upon completion.

“We are delighted to receive extensive and attractive financing support from the Australian government. This financing support represents a comprehensive endorsement of the company’s technology and business strategy. This key milestone brings Alpha one step closer to establishing Australia’s first, sovereign, large-scale commercial capability to manufacture high-purity aluminas and related products to support key high technology growth sectors driving the global energy transition,” said Alpha MD Rimas Kairaitis.

Meanwhile, the A$185-million in funding for Renascor will accelerate the development of Stage 1 of its Siviour graphite project, which will create about 150 construction jobs and 125 operational jobs in Arno Bay. Stage 2 of the project, located in Bolivar near Port Adelaide, is anticipated to deliver even more jobs.

The funding will support Renascor’s development of a vertically integrated battery anode material (BAM) manufacturing operation. The project combines the Siviour graphite deposit – the biggest reported graphite reserve outside Africa – and a state-of-the-art processing facility to manufacture purified spherical graphite.

With the loan, Renascor will fast-track the development and operation of the upstream graphite concentrate operation of the BAM project.

“Our phased development strategy provides us with an early-mover advantage by entering the market with reliable supply of natural graphite concentrates from Australia, an IRA-aligned jurisdiction. The strategy allows us to generate early cashflows, accelerate production of graphite concentrates, continue to build valuable offtake relationships with leading anode suppliers, operate and optimise the PSG [purified spherical graphite] pilot plant and PSG product qualification, and de-risk the subsequent development of the downstream PSG processing facility,” commented MD David Christensen.