China’s Ganfeng Lithium has expressed its commitment to supporting the financing of the Sonora project that London-traded Bacanora Lithium is advancing in Mexico.
In terms of the agreement, Ganfeng will invest 14.4-million in Bacanora for a 29.9% stake. At project level, Ganfeng invested £7.5-million for a 22.5% stake in the Sonora. Ganfeng has the option to increase its interest in the project to 50% within 24 months.
Ganfeng has submitted the agreements to the relevant authorities in China for approval and said on Tuesday that it had received approval from the Ministry of Commerce at the end of July.
The National Development and Reform Commission had processed the second approval and Gangeng expects the final approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange “in the coming weeks”.
"We are continuing to progress the approval process in China in order to complete our initial investment in Bacanora Lithium and its Sonora project,” said Ganfeng deputy chairperson Wang Xiaoshen.
Sonora forms part of Ganfeng's strategy of growing to a 100 000 t/y lithium producer.
On Sunday, Ganfeng also completed a $160-million deal to raise its stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project, in Argentina, to 50%. It bought a 7.5% stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz project from Chile's SQM, in 2018, and said in April it would subscribe for new shares in the operating joint venture Minera Exar to raise this to 50%.
Ganfeng is one of the world's biggest producers of lithium, a key ingredient in rechargeable batteries, and a supplier of electric carmaker Tesla.