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South American Lithium Projects Set to Flourish in Battery Metal’s Projected 2024 Rebound Year



USA News Group Commentary

VANCOUVER, BC, April 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Coming off a major market correction in 2023 down from 2-2022’s record highs, the lithium market is primed for a rebound in 2024. Analysts at MorningStar using data shared from Platts, LME, Benchmarked Minerals, Fastmarkets, and MorningStar itself are forecasting lithium prices to stabilize and rise in 2024, and to nearly double from $17,000 to $30,000 per metric ton from 2023 to 2030. As the Electric Vehicle (EV) market moves towards a projected $1.66 trillion by 2030, lithium demand is expected to triple from 2022 levels over that time. Today with more than 65% of the world’s lithium reserves, it’s in Latin America where some of the most promising new projects are still under development, including from Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV: LIS) (OTCQB: LISMF), POSCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PKX), American Lithium Corp. (NASDAQ: AMLI) (TSXV: LI), Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: SGML) (TSXV: SGML), and Atlas Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: ATLX).

As an integral part of the prolific Lithium Triangle, Argentina is on pace to become a Top 3 Lithium Producer status by 2027. One of the more prominent developing stories within Argentina’s Salta Province is the Hombre Muerto North Lithium (HMN Li) project, 100% owned by Lithium South Development Corporation (TSXV: LIS) (OTCQB: LISMF) which late last year produced a newly upgraded NI 43-101 technical report, revealing a remarkable 175% increase in its lithium resource to more than 1.58 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.

Based on this newly defined N.I. 43-101 lithium resource, Lithium South has just completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA). This technical and financial evaluation was based upon a potential 15,600 tonne per year lithium carbonate technical grade operation. The envisioned mining facility would use industry standard solar evaporation to extract the lithium. The financial model looked impressive with a after tax Net Present Value of US$938 million, an after-tax Internal Rate of Return of 31.6% and a short 2.5-year payback.

This year has started off with an interesting development between Lithium South and POSCO Argentina SAU, a wholly owned subsidiary of Korean giant, POSCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PKX). A key southern portion of the HMN Li Project, the Norma Edith and Viamonte contiguous claim group, is located in a zone of dual jurisdiction between Catamarca and Salta Provinces. POSCO has the Catamarca side and Lithium South has the Salta side. To facilitate development of the area, POSCO and Lithium South have agreed to share brine production from this area on a 50/50 basis. The area may offer the ability for Lithium South to substantially increase the overall potential size of the HMN Li Project. We are awaiting drilling to start in this area.

At the Alba Sabrina claim block, a 400 meter deep pumping well has just been completed. The next step is a long term pump test which is currently underway. Early indications are that the well may offer high productivity. The well was described by the company as exhibiting strong artesian characteristics, which means the brine is flowing out on its own. This hole will be very important in establishing the project viability.

Outside of the Lithium Triangle are still other promising projects in Latin America, including the Falchani lithium project in Peru developed by American Lithium Corp. (NASDAQ: AMLI) (TSXV: LI). Earlier in January 2024, Reuters reported the Falchani’s project value had tripled from the previous forecast to $5.11 billion and that it would have a potential operating life of 32 years.

“The very large increase in NPV combined with a low initial capex and robust economics in the updated PEA for Falchani are the culmination of successful work programs at site and flow sheet optimization over the last couple of years combined with an improved lithium pricing environment,” said Simon Clarke, CEO of American Lithium in the Updated PEA Falchani highlights press release. “We are also extremely pleased to now include the compelling strategic and economic value proposition of adding SOP fertilizer and cesium sulfate by-products to the robust economic potential of core, high purity lithium production at Falchani. This PEA update is a major step towards completion of pre-feasibility work.”

In Brazil, Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: SGML) (TSXV: SGML) ended 2023 on a high note, announcing its fifth shipment of 22,000 tonnes of what they call “the most environmentally sustainable lithium in the world” from their Greentech Plant which is operating at its design capacity of 270,000 tonnes per year. The initial buyer of Sigma’s lithium is mining giant Glencore which prepaid 50% of the shipment’s value upon completion of loading, reflecting the load’s provisional premium price for the operation’s unique Quintuple Zero Green Lithium concentrate. Sigma followed this up by signing a letter of intention (LOI) for development bank debt of approximately US$100 million to fund construction of its fully licensed second Greentech Industrial Lithium Plant.

“Despite the recent deterioration in the outlook for lithium demand for the short term, the Company believes that with the appropriate capital structure enabled by this development bank financing, it has a unique opportunity to solidify its global industrial competitive leadership in producing low cost and sustainable pre chemical lithium concentrate,” said Sigma CEO and Co-Chairman, Ana Cabral-Gardner.

Set to join Sigma as a Brazilian lithium producer in the near future is Atlas Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ: ATLX), which back in December 2023 reported was fully funded to first production in 2024. This came through gaining commitments with two top lithium chemical companies: Chengxin Lithium Group and Yahua Industrial Group, suppliers of lithium hydroxide to Tesla, BYD, and LG, among others. Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to Atlas Lithium through these transactions.

Atlas would go on to kick off 2024 by intersecting high-grade lithium mineralization at its Neves Project, including 1.96% Li2O over 3.4m.

“We remain very encouraged by both the widths and grades coming out of our latest drilling campaign results,” said James Abson, Atlas Lithium’s Chief Geology Officer. “The recently discovered Anitta 4 mineralized pegmatite cluster is also starting to become more cohesive, with at least two parallel mineralized dikes now being delineated within the swarm. These latest intersects continue to expand the pegmatite body in both down-dip and along-strike orientations.”


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PB Fintech slips 2% after over 8 million shares change hands via block deal




PB Fintech witnessed a 2% decline in its stock price, reaching Rs 1,313.65 per share, as approximately 8.4 million shares, equivalent to 1.86% of outstanding shares, were exchanged via block deals on the exchanges. By 9:44 AM, the volume surged to 9 million shares collectively on both exchanges, while PB Fintech’s stock price dipped by 0.56% to Rs 1,333 apiece, contrasting with a 0.22% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Executive Share Sales

On May 16, PB Fintech announced that its Chairman and CEO, Yashish Dahiya, alongside Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director, Alok Bansal, intended to sell partial stakes in the company. Dahiya plans to sell up to 5.4 million equity shares, while Bansal aims to divest up to 2.97 million equity shares. Proceeds from the sale will be allocated primarily towards taxes on current and future ESOP exercises.

Following the sale, Dahiya will retain a 4.83% stake, while Bansal will hold a 1.63% stake in PB Fintech on a fully diluted basis. The company clarified that no further share sales are planned by the duo for at least one year.

Company Profile and Financial Performance

PB Fintech is actively involved in providing integrated online marketing and IT consulting services, primarily for the financial services industry, including insurance. The company operates Policybazaar, India’s largest digital insurance marketplace, and Paisabazaar, which offers lending-related services.

In Q4FY24, PB Fintech reported a net profit of Rs 60.19 crore, marking a significant improvement from the Rs 9.34 crore loss in the corresponding period of the previous year. The company’s revenue from operations surged by 25.4% year-on-year to Rs 1,090 crore in Q4 FY24, compared to Rs 869 crore in Q4 FY23.

For the entire fiscal year, PB Fintech’s net profit stood at Rs 64 crore, contrasting with the Rs 488 crore loss in FY23. The company’s consolidated operating revenue rose by 34% year-on-year to Rs 3,437 crore.

Analyst Perspectives

Analysts at Nuvama Institutional Equities raised their FY25/26 Ebitda estimates significantly to accommodate higher growth and improved profitability. However, they maintained a ‘Reduce’ rating on the stock due to its rich valuation, revising their target price to Rs 1,160.

Keynote Capital downgraded PB Fintech’s stock to ‘Reduce’ from ‘Buy’, citing that most of the positives appear to be priced in. Despite acknowledging the company’s positive momentum and profitability, the brokerage believes that current market expectations may be overly optimistic.

PB Fintech continues to navigate its growth trajectory amidst strategic initiatives and evolving market dynamics, as reflected by varying analyst viewpoints.


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US fintech Yendo secures $165m in mix of debt financing and equity




Yendo, a prominent fintech company based in the United States, has successfully secured $165 million in funding through a combination of debt financing and equity investment.

Funding Structure

The funding round comprised a mix of debt financing and equity infusion, highlighting investors’ confidence in Yendo’s growth prospects and business model. This significant financial injection underscores Yendo’s position as a key player in the fintech sector.

Investment Highlights

Yendo’s ability to attract such substantial investment underscores its appeal to investors. The company’s innovative approach and strategic positioning within the fintech landscape have positioned it for accelerated growth and market expansion.

Utilization of Funds

The newly raised capital will likely be deployed to fuel Yendo’s expansion initiatives, including product development, market expansion, and strategic acquisitions. The infusion of funds will provide Yendo with the financial resources needed to capitalize on emerging opportunities and consolidate its market position.

Market Impact

Yendo’s successful funding round is expected to have a positive impact on the broader fintech market, signaling investor confidence in the sector’s growth potential. The influx of capital into Yendo reflects the ongoing trend of significant investment activity within the fintech industry, driven by increasing demand for innovative financial solutions.


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Commerce Bank goes live with instant payment service FedNow through Temenos Payments Hub




Commerce Bank, headquartered in Kansas City, USA, has recently activated the FedNow instant payments service as part of its ongoing modernization efforts.

Collaboration with Temenos

Commerce Bank has partnered with Temenos, a leading Swiss vendor, to enhance its real-time payment capabilities. This collaboration builds upon Commerce Bank’s previous deployment of Temenos’ core banking platform in 2022 and its adoption of the Infinity loan origination solution earlier this year.

Utilization of Temenos Payments Hub

Commerce Bank has opted for the Temenos Payments Hub to integrate the FedNow service seamlessly. According to Temenos, this choice aims to amalgamate advanced banking products with cutting-edge delivery methods.

Insight from David Roller

David Roller, CIO of Commerce Bank, views this selection as a strategic step in their modernization journey. He emphasizes the bank’s commitment to meeting the evolving expectations of its customers by leveraging the capabilities offered by the Temenos platform.

Features of the Platform

The Temenos Payments Hub, delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), offers a comprehensive suite of payment tools and frameworks. These include features like straight-through processing, automated exception handling, cloud security measures, intelligent routing, and customizable workflows.

Leveraging the US Model Bank

In addition to the Temenos Payments Hub, Commerce Bank has also leveraged Temenos’ US Model Bank. This collection of pre-configured banking processes is tailored to address the specific requirements of the US market, further enhancing Commerce Bank’s operational efficiency and customer service.


The post Commerce Bank goes live with instant payment service FedNow through Temenos Payments Hub appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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