In a statement released late Monday, Livent announced its intention to double its ownership in Nemaska Lithium from 25% to 50%. To do this, it will issue 17.5 million shares to the British investment fund Pallinghurst. At Monday’s closing price in New York, the transaction would be worth US$374 million.
Investissement Québec, which will maintain half of its ownership of Nemaska Lithium, agreed with Pallinghurst to invest up to $600 million in equal shares to relaunch the project. Lithium from the Whabouchi mine in Nord-du-Québec will be transformed into lithium hydroxide in a new plant in Bécancour. The first production is now expected in 2025.
We believe that Nemaska, as a large-scale, low-cost integrated lithium hydroxide project, will be an important part of the supply of sustainable critical battery materials, Livent argues. We will continue to work closely with the Government of Quebec to ensure that Nemaska becomes a premier supplier of hydroxide for quality batteries.
According to the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Livent, a Philadelphia-based company, had been part of the discussions for a long time when it appeared in the portrait in November 2020.
In Elon Musk’s sights?
Last month, Tesla executive Elon Musk sparked speculation within the mining industry that the automaker might have to acquire an established mining company due to high lithium prices – they have said. effect jumped by almost 80% since the beginning of the year.
The title of Livent, with a market capitalization of 3.46 billion US dollars, however, has lost almost 24% of its value for a month. The company of more than a thousand workers has manufacturing sites in the United States, England, India, China and Argentina.
Its contract with Tesla was due to end at the end of 2021, but the information available does not allow us to know if it has been extended this year. Livent will release its first quarter 2022 results late Tuesday.
Pallinghurst, still invested in Quebec
Radio-Canada revealed in 2020 that Investissement Québec was doing business with a company with a strong presence in tax havens by partnering with Pallinghurst.
The fund will remain active in the territory with its interest in Nouveau Monde Graphite; it increased its stake to 21% last October.