China's Ganfeng to become Bacanora's 50-50 partner in Mexico's Sonora lithium project

by Michael Green
Feeding Sonora pilot plant with ore samples. Photo Bacanora Lithium
China’s Ganfeng Lithium has exercised an option to increase its investment in Bacanora Lithium's Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico from 22.5% to 50%.

Bacanora CEO Peter Secker said the move to a 50-50 joint venture project was a "further show of confidence” by its cornerstone investor and offtake partner.

The moves comes after Bacanora’s announcement last month that the Sonora Lithium Ltd (SLL) project, in northeast Mexico, was on track to start initial works in the first half of next year, subject to completion of financing, which would see production start in 2023.

Secker said: "With recent trends in electric vehicle purchases showing significant year-on-year growth and lithium storage batteries starting to play a strategic role in the storage of renewable energy, the Sonora Lithium Project is now well placed to be in production in 2023 and delivering battery-grade lithium products into the fast growing energy storage market.”

Ganfeng is exercising its right to subscribe for 73,955,680 new ordinary shares in SLL at 29.59 pence, at a total value of £21,883,485, subject to conditions.

The move will see Bacanora and Ganfeng each appoint two directors to the SLL board. UK-listed Bacanora will continue to be the project operator, while Ganfeng will be responsible for leading engineering, procurement and construction activities.

Ganfeng is now applying to Chinese authorities in order to allow the funds to be remitted to the UK.

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