Magnis wins investor backing, keeps to Townsville battery gigafactory plan


Magnis Energy, one of the companies behind an ambitious plan to develop a $3 billion lithium-ion battery cell gigafactory in Townsville, has received commitments to raise $1.5 million via a placement of ordinary shares. The announcement comes after the graphite miner recently reaffirmed its commitment to the Townsville factory plans, noting that the ownership structure in the project remains unchanged.

Project proponent Imperium3 consortium (iM3TSV), which consists of Magnis Energy, C4V LLC New York and Boston Energy and Innovation, each own an equal one-third interest. With an ambition to become an important player in the battery industry, Magnis has an ownership interest in another lithium-ion battery (LIB) gigafactory in New York. With cathodes free from both cobalt and nickel, Magnis has pledged to responsibly source the raw materials, associated technologies and components for the LIB cells. It is targeting the production and processing of graphite through its 100% owned mine in southeast Tanzania, the Natchu Graphite Project. 

On Tuesday, the ASX-listed company said that a 20,000,000 share placement, issued at $0.075 a share, was conducted without a prospectus, attracting commitments from professional, sophisticated and institutional investors.

“We are encouraged by the strong interest shown in our capital raising which was done at a small discount to the previous closing price,” said Chairman Frank Poullas. “Our facility with Negma still has close to A$5 million remaining and along with today’s placement, has improved the company’s financial position.”

Last September, Magnis announced that it has executed an agreement to secure $8 million in funding from Middle East-based Negma Group. Under the terms of the agreement, the company was due to provide the funds over the course of 12 months with a maximum monthly subscription of $700,000.

As for its Townsville battery manufacturing plant, Magnis and its consortium partners are still waiting for the Queensland government’s response to their feasibility study submitted last year, as they ready for the next stage of attaining suitable project funding for the development. The state government previously provided $3.1 million towards the project.

The feasibility study determined that $1.12 billion will be needed for the first stage and around $945 million and $963 million for the later stages. It also demonstrated sound financial viability on a project basis with an internal rate of return 21% to the consortium members.

The proposed site for the project is Lansdown Station approximately 40km south of the Townsville CBD. As the developer of the Lansdown Industrial Precinct, where the battery plant will be located, Townsville City Council will assume a “small ownership stake in the project.” The precinct is intended to be Northern Australia’s first environmentally sustainable advanced manufacturing, processing and technology estate. It will be powered by 200 MW Majors Creek Solar Farm, developed by Edify Energy.

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