China’s largest lithium compounds producer, Ganfeng Lithium, and Canada’s Lithium Americas (LA) have finalised a deal to develop and operate Argentina’s Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project.
Ganfeng has acquired a 37.5% interest in Minera Exar, the holding company for Cauchari-Olaroz, from Chilean mining firm Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM). LA will hold the remaining 62.5%.
Under the terms of the deal, unveiled earlier this year, the Chinese firm has confirmed it will set up a US$100m loan facility for LA to fully fund its own share of capital costs at Cauchari-Olaroz.
Ganfeng vice-chairman Wang Xiaoshen said 0n 31 October that starting production at Cauchari-Olaroz “is one of our top priorities”.
Last August, South Korean battery firm LG Chem agreed a deal to acquire a “massive volume” of lithium hydroxide from Ganfeng to spur production of batteries for electric vehicles.
In September, Ganfeng signed a separate deal to supply a fifth of its production to Tesla. Ganfeng said Tesla would designate its battery suppliers to buy lithium-hydroxide products from Ganfeng.