Caixin
Oct 11, 2021 05:04 PM
BUSINESS

Chinese Miner to Acquire Canada-Based Neo Lithium for $770 Million

What’s new: Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. (601899.SH/2899.HK) has announced it will acquire Canada-based lithium company Neo Lithium for C$960 million ($770 million) in an all-cash deal.

The Fujian-headquartered gold and copper miner has agreed to buy Argentina-focused Neo Lithium for C$6.50 per share, representing a premium of about 18% over the company’s last closing price of C$5.49 in Toronto on Friday, Zijin Mining said Sunday in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, where it’s also listed.

The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of Neo Lithium and Zijin Mining.

The acquisition will give Zijin Mining access to Neo Lithium’s 3Q lithium brine lake project in northwest Argentina’s Catamarca province. The 353-square kilometer project, 100% held by Neo Lithium through its wholly owned subsidiary in Argentina, is one of the largest projects of its kind. It is expected to produce 20,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate a year over the 35-year life of the mine, according to Zijin Mining.

The background: The deal marks Zijin Mining’s entry into the field of new-energy minerals, amid rising demand for lithium used in electric-vehicle batteries.

On Monday, China’s battery-grade lithium carbonate price reached 181,750 yuan per ton, soaring 242% from the beginning of the year, data from Shanghai Metals Market Information & Technology Co. Ltd. showed.

Zijin’s deal follows a similar acquisition by Chinese battery-maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), which last month agreed to acquire Vancouver-based Millennial Lithium Corp. for C$376.8 million, outbidding rival Ganfeng Lithium.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Kelsey Cheng (kelseycheng@caixin.com) and editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)

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