Neo Lithium Corp. is negotiating a $490 million deal to finance development of a mine in Argentina as the Toronto-based penny stock looks to tap a nascent lithium boom in the South American country. Shares rose.
The company is in talks with would-be U.S., European and Asian joint-venture partners for Tres Quebradas in Catamarca province, Chief Executive Officer Waldo Perez said.
The project, which straddles salt flats and lakes across 135 square miles near the Chilean border, is billed as having high concentrations of the mineral used in rechargeable batteries and low impurities.
“We’re looking for a partner,” Perez said in an interview in Buenos Aires. “And we hope to close a deal by the end of year.” Perez said the money would fund the project in its entirety and that he wouldn’t seek an off-take agreement, the likes of which Argentine rivals such as Minera Exar SA have opted for with Asian buyers.
Neo Lithium has a market value of less than $100 million after its shares fell more than 50 percent this year. The stock gained as much as 7.8 percent on Tuesday.