Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project : Ganfeng Lithium to take controlling stake from Lithium Americas
Ganfeng Lithium, a Chinese lithium metals producer, has agreed to take controlling stake in the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina in a $16 million worth deal with its joint venture partner Lithium Americas, as per the latest mining acquisition news.
The deal will see the Chinese lithium producer increase its stake from 50% to 51% in the joint venture called Minera Exar with the Canadian lithium miner Lithium Americas reducing its stake to 49%.
The Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project, which is currently under construction in the Jujuy Province in north-west Argentina, remains on budget and is on track to begin production in early 2021.
Xiaoshen Wang – Vice-Chairman and Vice-President of Ganfeng Lithium said: “We remain firmly committed to investing in Argentina, Caucharí-Olaroz and the team at Minera Exar.
“The Transaction provides increased financial flexibility and benefits to Ganfeng Lithium as we continue to invest in one of the largest and lowest cost sources of lithium carbonate globally alongside our partner, Lithium Americas.”
Both Ganfeng Lithium and Lithium Americas have agreed to the 2020 funding schedule, which includes investment of up to $400 million, in accordance with the approved construction plan in 2019.
Minera Exar will continue to be the operator of Caucharí-Olaroz project and has agreed that Lithium Americas will sign a management services contract with its Chinese partner.
The lithium project in Argentina is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery-quality lithium carbonate. Construction so far is nearly 31% done and is expected to be substantially mechanically complete by the end of this year.
Jon Evans – Lithium Americas President and CEO said: “The Transaction with Ganfeng Lithium further strengthens our balance sheet while ensuring Caucharí-Olaroz construction continues to advance as planned.
“For Lithium Americas, the Transaction reinforces our strategy of building a low-cost lithium operation in Argentina, and provides funding to advance our second flagship project, Thacker Pass, towards construction in Nevada.”