Sigma Lithium plans to invest $100m on new Brazil plant

13th February 2024 By: Bloomberg

Sigma Lithium plans to invest $100m on new Brazil plant

SAO PAULO - Sigma Lithium, a leader in Brazil's budding lithium sector, said on Monday it planned to invest 492.4-million reais on a previously announced plant in the country, to be backed by financing from the national development bank.

Sigma, a Vancouver, Canada-based company which mines and processes lithium in Brazil, said in a statement it had received a letter of intention from the South American country's development bank, BNDES, to finance construction of the lithium concentrate production plant.

The firm did not state how much credit BNDES was planning to extend to Sigma. BNDES did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on a public holiday.

The lender still needs to give final approval on the financing, including for the collateral proposed, while Sigma's board also has to make a final call on the investment decision, according to the statement.

The new plant, which would be Sigma's second one in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, is expected to almost double its output to 510 000 metric tons a year, the firm said. Construction is expected to begin by the end of March, it added.

The company, which has seen recent management shake-ups and is courting clients such as automakers and big battery industry players, also said on Monday it had received an environmental license at the end of January from the state government to install and operate the new plant.

Sigma's Grota do Cirilo lithium project in the country should produce 766 000 metric tons of the white metal a year once complete, the firm said, without providing a timeline.