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Fledgling battery materials company launches IPO


New Adelaide company iTech Minerals has launched its initial public offering in a bid to raise up to $7 million and list on the Australian stock exchange.

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Formed in February, iTech Minerals entered into an agreement with Archer Materials in April to buy its remaining mineral tenements, which include an Eyre Peninsula graphite project and two kaolin-halloysite prospects across seven tenements.

It launched the IPO yesterday, which aims to raise between $5 million and $7 million at $0.20 per share and lead to a listing on the ASX next month.

Novus Capital is the Lead Manager and Sponsoring Broker for the capital raise. It is expected to be open for between two and five weeks depending on how quickly it is filled.

The sale of the Archer tenements was finalised and approved by its shareholders last month.

Archer shareholders have been given first priority to buy iTech Minerals shares.

Kaolin is a clay used for high-end ceramics. High purity kaolin can also be used for coating applications.

Halloysite is a rare derivative of kaolin that has a number of emerging applications including in batteries, hydrogen storage and air and water purification.

The Eyre Peninsula Kaolin Project occurs over 1,445 square kilometres and contains six halloysite-kaolinite prospects and the Campoona graphite tenement.

The project area is about 30km north-west of shipping facilities at Lucky Bay and 70km from Whyalla.

The Franklyn project is east of Jamestown in the state’s Mid North.

“Like many industrial minerals, transportation, processing and marketing options for halloysite-kaolinite are as important as the raw product,” the company said in its prospectus.

“On a global scale, the Eyre Peninsula and Franklyn Kaolin Projects are well-positioned to supply increasing deficits in kaolin production within China due to resources being depleted.”

iTech managing director Mike Schwarz said the company was looking to position itself as a battery materials company through the development of the former Archer tenements.

“We’re taking over their exploration assets and we’re primarily looking for halloysite and kaolin and the graphite project is quite advanced as well,” Schwarz said.

“The kaolin and halloysite have a lot of applications in nanotechnology and you can use the kaolin for making high-purity alumina that can be used in things like scratch-proof glass on iPhone screens.

“It’s also used to wrap lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles because it’s so tough and strong and has a really high melting temperature.

“The more electric vehicles that are built then the more of this material they are going to need.”

Archer will receive 50 million iTech shares at the completion of the sale and purchase. The shares will be distributed with each Archer shareholder to receive one iTech share for every 4.6 Archer shares held.

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