Charger Metals shares dip after Rio Tinto deal on Lake Johnston Lithium Project

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Charger Metals shares dip after Rio Tinto deal on Lake Johnston Lithium Project
Credit: © Reuters.

Charger Metals NL experienced a sharp decline in share price today on the ASX following the completion of a significant agreement with Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO ) Exploration (RTX) regarding the Lake Johnston Lithium Project. The deal, which could reduce Charger's holding to a minority stake, comes shortly after Charger acquired full ownership of the project from Lithium Australia Ltd for $2 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, RTX has been granted the right to earn up to a 75% stake in the project. RTX will make an initial payment of $500,000 to Charger and commit to a preliminary investment of $1.2 million in pre-farm-in activities. Furthermore, RTX is obligated to invest at least $3 million in exploration within one year. To secure a majority share of 51%, RTX will need to fund an additional $10 million in exploration and make another payment of $1.5 million to Charger. To attain a dominant 75% interest, RTX is required to either invest an extra $30 million or complete a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).

Despite the downturn in its stock, Charger’s managing director Aidan Platel endorsed the agreement, highlighting its potential for extensive exploration and development of key prospects like Medcalf Spodumene.

The broader Australian lithium market shows a flurry of activity, with companies like Flynn Gold and Morella Corporation reporting positive developments in their respective projects. The sector has seen notable movements today, with TG Metals leading a spike in performance. Rio Tinto's strategic investments in lithium through partnerships and acquisitions, including its farm-in agreement with Charger Metals and purchase of tenement rights from Essential Metals Ltd (ESS), underscore the escalating competition for lithium resources in Western Australia's Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) Isle.

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