The latest: Lithium miner Ganfeng Lithium Group Co. Ltd. (1772.HK; 002460.SZ) announced Wednesday that its wholly-owned GFL International subsidiary will pay up to $65 million for up to 5% of Mali Lithium, owner of the Goulamina spodumene mine project in the southern region of Mali in Africa. The purchase will boost its shareholding in the project to up to 60%.
Looking up: The company said the transaction will promote the development and construction of the project, bolstering its supply of lithium resources to facilitate its business expansion.
Take Note: The transaction is subject to approval by various Chinese and Mali regulators, who may decide to veto the investment. Volatility in international politics, commodity prices and industrial policies could also undermine the investment.
Digging Deeper: Ganfeng is a large lithium producer with mines in Argentina, Australia and China. Strong demand from electric vehicle (EV) and power storage battery makers and surging lithium prices helped the company to record big gains in both its revenue and profit between 2019 and 2022. But the global lithium industry got off to a rough start in 2023 as prices fell sharply from historic highs. As that happened, Ganfeng’s revenue still grew 26.5% in the first half of last year, but its net profit dropped 19.5%.
Market Reaction: Ganfeng’s Hong Kong shares were little changed on Thursday, closing down 0.4% at HK$25.05 by the midday break. The stock currently trades near the lower end of its 52-week range.
Translation by A. Au
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