Shanghai (China), Oct 11 (EFE) .- Zijin Mining, one of the largest gold and copper producers in China, announced an agreement to acquire all of Canada’s Neo Lithium, focused on the exploitation of its lithium mine in Tres Quebradas, in the northwestern Argentine province of Catamarca.
In a statement sent last night to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it is listed, the company indicates that it will buy all the shares of Neo Lithium for about 960 million Canadian dollars (770 million dollars, 666 million euros).
Zijin will pay C $ 6.51 ($ 4.81, € 4.16) in cash for each security, an 18% increase over Neo Lithium’s last closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Neo Lithium’s main asset is the aforementioned Tres Quebradas project, which it controls through its local subsidiary Liex, whose management and work teams will also remain in their positions after the operation.
The project is based on the exploitation of lithium-rich brine lagoons located about 30 kilometers from the border with Chile, at about 4,100 meters above sea level.
“We believe that it is time for our project to move to the construction and production phase with Zijin,” said the president and CEO of Neo Lithium, Waldo Pérez, recently.
According to preliminary studies, Tres Quebradas is expected to produce some 20,000 tonnes a year of lithium carbonate suitable for batteries – for example, for electric vehicles – over about 35 years.
The potential, the statement said, is even greater: “Through the adoption of evaporation technology, it is possible that the brine lake will produce between 40,000 and 60,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year.”
Last June, Neo Lithium was able to produce lithium carbonate suitable for batteries with a purity rate of 99.891% in one of the pilot facilities that it has built in the area, which are made up of two salt flats where the water evaporates. and a plant with an annual production capacity of 40 tons.
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