Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, a Chinese producer of rechargeable batteries (CATL), has agreed to purchase Canadian lithium miner Millennial Lithium Corp for C$376.8 million ($297.3 million), outbidding the miner’s compatriot Ganfeng Lithium, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, CATL announced the purchase of a majority stake in another lithium company based in Argentina, Neo Lithium Corp. This action follows the acquisition of stakes in North American Nickel (based in Greenland), Pilbara Minerals (based in Australia), and other companies to increase the supply of crucial battery ingredients.
In April, CATL announced that its subsidiary had agreed to purchase a share in China Molybdenum Co’s Kisanfu mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a significant battery element supplier of cobalt. The transaction is valued at $137.5 million. Millennial Lithium said that CATL has also repaid the company for a termination fee of $10 million that it had paid to Ganfeng,
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In the meantime, Ganfeng’s acquisition spree in 2021 has been slowed by CATL’s late charge. In the first half of the year, Ganfeng has committed to pay $264.5 million for the shares it does not already hold in Bacanora Lithium, a lithium mine in Mali, and a salt lake in China, each worth $130 million.
The deals’ timing occurs when the price of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China AM-995C-LTCB has increased by a factor of 3 so far this year and the demand for electric vehicles surges due to the epidemic’s impact on the country’s infrastructure.