Sector News

Albemarle signs definitive agreement to form lithium JV in Western Australia

December 14, 2018
Chemical Value Chain

Albemarle announced today the signing of an asset sale and share subscription agreement with Mineral Resources for a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albemarle to acquire a 50% interest in MRL’s Wodgina hard rock lithium project in Western Australia and form a joint venture with MRL to own and operate the Wodgina project to produce spodumene concentrate and battery grade lithium hydroxide. Albemarle said last month that it signed a deal with MRL.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to antitrust and other regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

On closing of the transaction, Albemarle would acquire a 50% interest in all mineral rights within the Wodgina tenements, other than iron ore, which will be retained exclusively by MRL, and tantalum, which is held by a third party; the spodumene concentration plant and all other fixed infrastructure, utility assets and mobile mining equipment to be used in the Wodgina project, other than the crusher, which will remain owned and operated by MRL, for a purchase price of $1.15 billion. The parties would jointly manage the joint venture through a company to be equally owned by the parties.

After closing of the acquisition and completion of the construction and ramp-up of the spodumene concentration plant, the Wodgina project is expected to produce approximately 100,000 metric tons/year of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). This is planned to be used as feedstock for the future lithium hydroxide plant.

The parties would jointly fund, design, build and operate a battery grade lithium hydroxide plant to be constructed at Wodgina in two stages of up to 50,000 metric tons/year LCE each, utilizing Albemarle’s design.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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