New lithium giant emerges to feed surging battery demand – by James Thornhill (Bloomberg News – April 19, 2021)

A planned US$3.1 billion merger of two Australian miners is set to create one of the world’s biggest producers of lithium products key to meeting fast-growing global demand for electric vehicle batteries.

The deal between Orocobre Ltd. and Galaxy Resources Ltd. is the biggest mining sector deal of the year so far, according to Bloomberg data, with shares of both companies closing at the highest in three years in Sydney.

The merger would create the world’s fifth-biggest producer of lithium chemicals, the refined form of the raw materials that are used to make electric vehicle batteries.

Miners to battery makers have rushed to secure lithium supply amid expectations the EV frenzy will create a structural deficit as soon as this year, and prices are already roaring back after a three-year slump.

Battery demand is expected to surge tenfold by 2030, according to BloombergNEF, as the global clean-energy transition accelerates.

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