Tim Roberts has reinforced his belief in Mineral Resources’ lithium ambitions by splashing out nearly $19 million to expand his stake in the miner.
Disclosure notices filed with the Australian Securities Exchange late yesterday show the Multiplex heir and MinRes director waded into the market last week to snap up 1.27 million of the miner’s shares for a total outlay of $18.9 million.
The buying, through Mr Roberts’ Kingfisher Capital, lifted his personal holding to 3.2 million shares, or about 1.7 per cent of MinRes, making him the company’s seventh biggest shareholder, according to last year’s annual report.
The purchases were struck at an average of $14.88 a share, remarkably similar to the $14.80 a share at which Mr Roberts bought his foundation holding in MinRes in December.
Based on MinRes’ closing share price of $15.64 yesterday, Mr Roberts is about $3 million in profit on the stake before costs.
The first purchases came on the heels of MinRes’ sale of a 50 per cent stake in its Wodgina lithium project in the Pilbara to US group Albemarle for $US1.15 billion ($1.7 billion).
As part of their tie-up, the companies plan to develop a 100,000-tonnes-a-year lithium hydroxide plant that could make MinRes a major player in the lithium industry.
However, the company’s exposure to iron ore is also getting more attention as prices for the steel-making commodity rise, with spot benchmarks on Friday cracking $US100 a tonne for the first time in five years.
According to last week’s WA Rich List, Mr Roberts and siblings Andrew Roberts and Denby Roberts have a cumulative wealth of $2.92 billion.
Their father, Multiplex founder John Roberts, died in 2006.