September 4, 2019 / 12:28 AM / 15 days ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Australia's Pilbara Minerals boosts Pilgangoora ops through $62 mln raising

(Corrects Paragraph 6 to say co cut its sales forecast last week, not this week)

Sept 4 (Reuters) - Australia’s Pilbara Minerals on Wednesday said a Chinese electric-vehicle battery manufacturer has bought an 8.5% stake in the company as part of a A$91.5 million ($61.8 million) capital raising.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co, one of China’s leading electric-vehicle battery makers, bought the stake through a A$55 million placement while an additional A$36.5 million was raised through an institutional placement.

The fund-raising comes a few days after the miner took a stake in its flagship Pilgangoora lithium project in Western Australia off the market for lack of an appealing offer.

The raising will provide working capital for the ramp-up of the Pilgangoora operation and will also fund Pilbara’s participation in a joint venture with South Korea’s POSCO for a chemical conversion plant, the company said in a statement.

Pilbara said a Share Purchase Plan will also be offered to raise up to an additional A$20 million.

Last week, the Western Australian miner cut its sales forecast and curbed spending plans amid a downturn in the market for the battery raw material.

The lithium market is going through a lean phase as China’s sales of electric vehicles fall following sweeping changes to subsidies.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin

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