Sibanye-Stillwater to put money into European lithium firm Keliber

Sibanye-Stillwater mentioned on Tuesday it has agreed to put money into a European lithium firm Keliber Oy, marking the South African miner’s entry into battery metals sector.

Sibanye mentioned it is going to make an preliminary phased fairness funding of 30 million euros ($36.49 million) for a 30% stake in Keliber, and can supply an extra 10 million euros to the prevailing Keliber shareholders.

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Sibanye, the world’s largest supply of platinum group metals (PGMs), plans to concentrate on increasing into battery metals because it appears to be like to capitalise on the worldwide push for inexperienced applied sciences.

Sibanye, together with Keliber’s shareholders together with Finnish Minerals Group, intend to make the mission the primary vertically built-in lithium producer in Europe.

The miner, which has operations in South Africa and the US, mentioned Keliber’s lithium mission would allow it to move lithium hydroxide to European clients.

The Keliber mission, which is within the Kaustinen area of Finland, consists of a number of superior stage lithium spodumene deposits with 9.three million tonnes of ore reserves and consists of the event of a chemical plant in Kokkola.

“The funding affords the chance for additional geographic diversification in a beautiful mining vacation spot and the chance to forge long run relationships with established lithium business gamers,” mentioned Sibanye-Stillwater chief government officer Neal Froneman.

Manufacturing is anticipated to begin in 2024 with an annual output at 15 000 tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide, Sibanye mentioned.

The valuable steel producer has an possibility to accumulate a majority shareholding in Keliber after the completion of an up to date feasibility research which is anticipated in 18 to 24 months.

The deal, which is topic to the approval by the South African Reserve Financial institution, is anticipated to be accomplished in March.