Sat. Jan 29th, 2022
Lithium deal reveals China's race for battery metals

Buying boom amid quest for clean energy sources

Even gold miners in China want a piece of the action now that lithium has become so popular.

Zijin Mining Group Co., a well-known Chinese gold and copper miner, bought Neo Lithium Corp. for 960 million Canadian dollars ($770 million). This is the company’s first foray into the rapidly expanding lithium market.

Zijin exemplifies the ferociousness of the lithium asset market.

“The Neo Lithium acquisition shows how in-demand independent lithium assets are in the market, as well as how impatient the Chinese are,” said Chris Berry, CEO of industry consulting House Montain Partners.

Due to increased demand for the basic component, which is important for the transition to green energy, lithium carbonate prices in China have reached new highs.

“Lithium appears to be a popular commodity in China. To ensure supply, strategic partners will purchase mining assets, and small-cap companies will be amalgamated into electric vehicle organizations.” Yes, according to Matthew Hind, head of global mining at Bank of Scotia’s investment banking division.

Outside of China, Rock Tech Lithium Inc., founded by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, will open its first battery metal manufacturing facility near a Tesla Inc. factory on the outskirts of Berlin, with the goal of leading Europe’s transition to electric vehicles.

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