DLA Piper plays key role in major Mortlake battery project

Global DLA Piper has advised US-based Fluence Energy (NASDAQ:FLNC) on the engineering, procurement, and construction contract relating to the Mortlake Power Station battery in Victoria.   

Earlier this week, electricity and gas giant Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) enlisted Fluence to deliver a 300 megawatt / 650 megawatt-hour battery at the Mortlake Power Station in Victoria’s South West Renewable Energy Zone.

The energy system is expected to provide system strength to the power grid by capturing excess power during periods of high renewable generation and discharge to meet peak demand. 

DLA Piper Partner Luke Westmore tells Mining.com.au the $400 million Mortlake Project is “one of the largest battery projects which is happening in Australia to date” in a sector he forecasts will see major activity in 2024.

There’s going to be a huge amount of activity in the battery sector. It’s providing stability to the grid and then also another alternative energy source. So there’s a huge pipeline [of] projects coming up.” 

“There’s going to be a huge amount of activity in the battery sector”

The DLA Piper Partner adds that Mortlake is a further demonstration that ‘large’ energy players are getting involved in the battery space.

Westmore is a projects and infrastructure lawyer known for his in-depth expertise and active participation within the energy sector.

Site preparation and civil works of the Mortlake Battery are expected to begin following a period of detailed design and procurement activity. Mortlake is scheduled to be commissioned in late 2026. 

The project will use Fluence’s Gridstack energy storage product with a 15-year service agreement, contributing to Origin’s strategy to accelerate renewable energy and energy storage in its portfolio.

Fluence’s Gridstack technology provides utilities, developers, and independent power producers with factory-built, configurable, market-ready solutions to deliver the most common front-of-the-metre applications.   

The Mortlake system will also utilise Fluence’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered asset performance management software, Nispera, to optimise the battery’s operational performance.  

Nispera is a technology that works to maximise the value of solar, wind, hydro, and storage assets from any provider by going beyond asset performance management. 

Fluence Energy offers energy storage products, services, and optimisation software for renewables and storage, with a presence in 47 markets globally. 

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers in more than 40 countries.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Fluence and Origin Energy
Author Image
Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Magnum Mining retains NY law firm to lead North American push

Magnum Mining & Exploration (ASX:MGU) has enlisted the services of New York-based law firm Ellenoff Grossman & Schole to facilitate its capital raising activities in the United States.

Founded in 1992, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole specialises in several areas of commercial law, including corporate, securities, real estate, intellectual property, labour and employment, and taxation.

In June 2023, Magnum announced the appointment of EAS Advisers as its corporate strategist, tasked with the two-pronged remit of launching a private placement that would introduce the company to the North American market and pursuing a listing on a ‘major’ US stock exchange.

Now, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole has been retained to assist with these activities and provide legal oversight, though the firm’s appointment is subject to a monthly retainer that can be terminated by notice.

News of the appointment comes just a day after Magnum’s shares fell more than 30% following the release of a Scoping Study for its Buena Vista Iron project in Nevada.

Undertaken by MinRizon Projects, the study outlined the ‘potentially strong financial metrics’ for the project, located 35km south-east of Lovelock, which is expected to be a stand-alone open-pit mine with a conventional crush, grind, and magnetic separation process.

Based on a cut-off grade of 10% iron, the project boasts a resource estimate across 3 deposits — Section 5, West, and East — measuring 232 million tonnes at 18.6% iron. As such, Magnum anticipates the project will produce 1.6 million tonnes of direct reduction iron (DRI) magnetite concentrate per year for an initial mine life of 25 years.

But estimated capital costs for the Buena Vista Project range from US$182 million to US$378 million, while operating costs could fall anywhere between US$44 and US$90 per tonne.

The process plant itself is expected to cost US$96 million to US$200 million, with both on-site and off-site infrastructure requirements slated to cost between US$28 million and $58 million.

Nevertheless, confidence in the project is likely to improve as Magnum progresses to a Pre-Feasibility Study within the next 12 months and a Feasibility Study thereafter. Each is expected to take a year to complete, and the company is, in the meantime, seeking funding to support these studies.

“Magnum is in negotiations with a number of multinational organisations for project collaboration, models for which include product off-take agreements with prepayment arrangements, equity involvement, and debt financing,” the company said in a statement to the ASX yesterday.

Write to Oliver Gray at Mining.com.au

Author Image
Written By Oliver Gray
Originally from Perth, Oliver has a keen interest long-form journalism. He has written for a number of publications and was most recently Contributing Editor of The Market Herald’s opinion section, Art of the Essay.

Patriot Battery retains Venture Liquidity Providers to manage market-making services

Canadian mineral exploration company Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT) has retained the services of specialised consulting firm Venture Liquidity Providers to help in maintaining an orderly trading market for the common shares of the company.

The company has also retained Oakstrom Advisors, which will provide investor relations and strategic communications services.

Patriot says the market-making service will be undertaken by Venture Liquidity through a registered broker, W.D Latimer Co, in compliance with the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX-V) Venture Exchange and other applicable laws on an ongoing basis.

The agreement with Venture Liquidity may be terminated at any time by either party, and both companies will act at arm’s length with Venture Liquidity holding no present interest directly or indirectly in Patriot or its securities.

The company also notes the finances and common shares required for the market-making services are provided by W.D Latimer, and the fees paid by Patriot to Venture Liquidity are for market-making services only.

Patriot reports Oakstrom has been contracted to provide ‘comprehensive’ investor relations and strategic communication services for an initial 12-month term which may be extended by mutual agreement.

The company reports it has no prior relationship with Oakstromand notes Oakstrom does not currently own or control any securities in Patriot. The arrangement with Oakstrom and Venture Liquidity include monthly fees of $15,000 and $5,000 respectively and are subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange.

Patriot Battery Metals is a hard-rock lithium exploration company focused on advancing its district-scale Corvette Property, located in the James Bay region of Quebec, Canada.

The company says Corvette is one of the ‘largest’ and ‘highest grade’ hard rock lithium projects being explored with over 70 lithium-bearing pegmatite outcrops identified to date over a strike length of 50km.

Venture Liquidity Providers is a Toronto-based specialised consulting firm focused on providing services to TSX-V listed issuers.

Oakstrom Advisors is an international consultancy based in Toronto, focused on the delivery of investor relations, strategic communications, and capital markets outreach services.

Images: Patriot Battery Metals Inc.
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.