(Bloomberg) -- Australian-based Atlantic Lithium Ltd., which is developing Ghana’s first lithium mine, has taken a step toward raising capital from equity investors in the country.

The company has listed all its shares in issue on the Australian Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange’s AIM board, on the Ghana Stock Exchange, said Abena Amoah, the Accra-based bourse’s managing director.

The shares opened at 4.40 cedis ($0.31) apiece at Monday’s launch in Accra. 

The miner, which has yet to start production, listed the shares to meet licensing requirements in the West African nation, and isn’t raising new capital in Ghana for now. Its Ewoyaa mine is expected to become the continent’s third-largest hard-rock lithium project, according to the company.

“We look forward to working with you on a follow-on offering where the company raises capital by selling shares to Ghanaian investors as you build out your mine,” Amoah said, addressing the company’s representatives.

The next steps for Atlantic Lithium include the ratification of its 15-year mining lease by Ghana’s parliament and a final investment decision, with the aim of breaking ground before the end of the year, said Chief Executive Officer Keith Muller.

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Ghana, which is already Africa’s biggest gold producer, aims to increase local ownership of its mineral wealth, Land and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Jinapor said at the event.

Last year, the country approved a green-minerals policy requiring miners of these resources, considered key to the world’s energy transition, to allow for a minimum 30% local stake in projects.

Resource nationalism is strengthening across the world as developing countries seek a greater share of the profits from their commodities, while addressing historic inequities in the wealth flows from mining. In Chile — the No. 2 lithium producer — President Gabriel Boric has been negotiating the role of the state in a sector seen as key to its economic growth. 

Ghana’s sovereign minerals fund plans to pour $32.9 million into the Ewoyaa project, which could produce 65,000 metric tons lithium carbonate equivalent at its peak, enough to power about 1.4 million Tesla Model 3s.

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Atlantic is the Ghanaian bourse’s first listing since Asante Gold Corp., which also received backing from the fund, said Minerals Income Investment Fund Chief Executive Officer Edward Koranteng.

Half of Ewoyaa’s output is earmarked for a refinery that Piedmont Lithium Ltd., which supplies Tesla Inc. and LG Chem Ltd., plans to build in Tennessee. 

Piedmont, which has agreed to provide most of the funds to build the mine, is Atlantic Lithium’s second-largest shareholder, followed by Ghana’s sovereign minerals fund MIIF.

“I’m still in dream land hearing all these proposals in mining,” Alexandra Amoako-Mensah, the geologist whose 1971 thesis laid the groundwork for lithium exploration in Ghana, said. “I’m surprised that my modest development of research work has generated all this.”

“It’s my hope that the country will continue to expand its interest and explore the significant reserves of other green minerals for industrial purposes,” she added.

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