Lithium Miner’s German Smelter Plan Draws Billionaires – by Eyk Henning and Christoph Rauwald (Bloomberg News – January 11, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Rock Tech Lithium Inc. plans to raise $400 million to build a lithium refinery in Germany and has attracted support from billionaires including Peter Thiel investing in Europe’s push to create a local electric-vehicle battery industry.

The Canadian miner is in advanced talks with investors and sees the Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt regions as possible locations for the smelter, Chairman Dirk Harbecke said by phone.

Europe is expected to overtake China as the top EV market this year, spawning investment into the necessary infrastructure and local supply chains to reduce a dependence on Asian battery makers.

Thiel, Facebook Inc.’s first outside investor, acquired a direct stake of almost 5%, plus warrants that could double that holding, and billionaire British hedge fund manager Alan Howard has also taken a minority position, both investors confirmed to Bloomberg News. Germany’s billionaire investor Christian Angermayer is the top investor with an almost 20% holding.

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