Two of the world’s largest lithium producers announced a US$10.6-billion merger on Wednesday that is expected to speed development of mines and a refinery in Quebec.
Brisbane, Australia’s Allkem Ltd. is joining forces with Philadelphia-based Livent Corp., LTHM-N uniting the owners of lithium mines in Canada, Argentina and Australia, and a global network of processing plants. The merger creates the world’s third-largest miner of a key raw material in electric vehicle batteries.
Allkem owns the James Bay mine project in Quebec, which is expected to cost US$286-million to develop and should begin production by 2026. Livent owns 50 per cent of the Nemaska mine property, located approximately 100 kilometres away, and is expected to start producing lithium in 2024. Investissement Québec, a government agency, owns the other half of the project.
Livent also owns 50 per cent of a planned lithium processing facility in Bécancour, Que., on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. “The combination of James Bay and Nemaska will create a truly world-class suite of lithium assets, firmly based in Quebec,” said Arne Frandsen, managing partner at London-based private equity fund Pallinghurst Group, which focuses on investments in battery materials.
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