Mali Lithium Ltd (ASX:MLL) has implemented measures to reduce expenditure and preserve cash so that it can direct more focus on gold tenements as a definitive feasibility study (DFS) at the Goulamina Lithium Project nears completion.
The board has been reduced from five to three members with Chris Evans to resign as managing director and Noel O’Brien to resign as a non-executive director.
It will now comprise Mark Hepburn, Brendan Borg and Dr Alistair Cowden, who will assume the position of executive chairman
The board thanks Evans and O’Brien for the commitment and skills they have brought to Mali Lithium.
Cowden is a geologist with extensive experience spanning more than 40 years’ in mining, including the discovery, development and operation of numerous mines.
He has been involved with many mines and discoveries, including the Kanowna Belle and Sunrise Dam gold mines in Western Australia, Hartley Platinum in Zimbabwe and Kylylahti Copper in Finland.
Renewed focus on gold
Mali Lithium will adopt a renewed focus on its gold assets.
Given Cowden’s gold experience and that there is no need for a fulltime managing director, Evans has agreed to step down and Cowden will act as executive chairman on a part-time basis.
The principal gold asset is the 90%-owned Massigui project comprising 674 square kilometres surrounding the 6 million-ounce Barrick-Anglogold Morila gold camp in southwestern Mali.
MLL also holds a royalty interest over the Viper and N’tolia deposits mined by Morila last year.
High-grade drill intercepts were reported from the company’s Koting prospect near the Morila Gold Mine last year.
MLL also has a 100% interest in the 199 square kilometre Dankassa project elsewhere in southern Mali.
The company is now actively investigating opportunities that arise from its strategic position in the Malian gold industry.
The Goulamina Lithium Project DFS is almost complete and technical activity on the project will be minimal for the remainder of 2020.
Assay results have been slow in the current environment and a resource upgrade will be published when available, prior to the release of the DFS.
Mali Lithium notes that China has extended subsidies and tax incentives for electric vehicles for an additional two years, until the end of 2022.
The increase in lithium demand is still expected to grow strongly on the recovery of world markets.
On completion of the DFS, the company will pursue various avenues to generate value for shareholders from this fully permitted world-class asset.
Cost savings and fees
Board fees have been reduced by 20% and MLL will consider the possibility of paying a portion of board fees in shares subject to shareholder approval.
The company has also instituted several cost savings measures across its business in Mali and Australian head office, including staff redundancies and a reduction of hours for the remaining senior management equivalent to a 20% cut in remuneration.
Evans will leave the company on April 30, when he will receive his statutory entitlements and final termination payment of four months’ salary.
O’Brien will be retained as a mineral processing consultant for three months at a rate of $4,800 per month.
Cowden will be remunerated at the rate of $1,000 per day for time in addition to the normal duties of chairman.
He has agreed to defer the payment of these additional fees for at least three months.