China’s Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world’s top producers of the commodity used in electric vehicle batteries, is acquiring a 50% stake in a special purpose vehicle that owns the Goulamina hard-rock mine in Mali for $130 million.
Ganfeng, which counts automakers Tesla and BMW among its customers, said the move will grant it at least half of Goulamina’s first-phase annual output, estimated in 455,000 tonnes of spodumene.
Mali’s government can take 10% of the equity free of charge and pay in cash for up to 10% more, the company said.
Ganfeng’s move mirrors Zijin Mining and Citic’s, which last week secured 100% of the copper production from Ivanhoe Mines’ recently-launched Kamoa-Kakula mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
It also follows a similar deal Ganfeng inked in December to buy spodumene concentrate from the Manono mine in the DRC for an initial five-year period. The company did not take an equity stake in AVZ Minerals, the operation’s owner.
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