Final-stage construction of Galaxy Resources’ Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate Project in Jiangsu Province continued on schedule during August 2011, with good progress made in all areas.

Galaxy says the construction workforce currently totals 350, with an expected ramp up to 450 in September. During August, solid progress was achieved in all areas with all tanks and bins delivered and installed on site. Equipment installation, structural steel and pipework installation also progressed according to schedule.

High voltage cable and switchgear installation was completed and cable tray installation commenced. During the month, the kiln contractor was replaced (from MCC1 to CN 2,3). Productivity significantly improved with the kiln contracting workforce increasing from 28 to 110 people. There was some minor time lost due to typhoon Muifa and local flooding.

Galaxy’s managing director Iggy Tan says good progress had been achieved at the Jiangsu site with the project developing according to the previously-announced schedule. “We are pleased with the progress being made towards the commissioning of the Jiangsu project. Construction workforce levels have markedly improved and will continue to increase. Pleasingly, project costs are also in line with expectations.”

Manwhile, the company has received approaches by five major Chinese banks regarding funding of the Lithium-ion Battery Project in Jiangsu. Certain Chinese Banks have registered interest in providing the company with indicative funding of up to US$100 million as a fixed asset loan facility and up to US$45 million in working capital. The required level of funding would be determined by the final project investment level, which was still being established.

The Chinese Government’s recently-endorsed 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) targeted renewable energy usage and a significant boost to electric vehicle ownership. The consequence of this plan will be a significant rise in lithium-ion battery demand. Galaxy’s Battery Project falls into a strategic mandate area for China and therefore is considered an ‘encouraged’ industry for the country.

Iggy Tan says, “The level of interest from local Chinese funding institutions was very encouraging. The company will continue to progress the debt funding discussions with these particular Chinese funding institutions.

“Although completion and commissioning of our Lithium Carbonate Plant remains the priority, investigating funding options for the battery project is important preparation and continues the focus on our project pipeline.”

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