Lithium miners Orocobre and Galaxy Resources plan merger to cash in on EV batteries boom

by John Shepherd
'New force in the global lithium sector' on the horizon. A gathering pond at the Salar de Olaroz project in Argentina. Photo: Orocobre
Australian mining firms Orocobre and Galaxy Resources have announced a proposed AUD 4bn (£2.2bn) merger to "establish a new force in the global lithium sector”, as demand for electric vehicle battery materials is expected to soar.

The companies have entered into a binding merger implementation deed that would see Orocobre acquire 100% of the shares in Galaxy – creating the fifth largest global lithium chemicals company.

The merger is scheduled to take effect by mid-August this year, subject to various approvals.

A name for the new entity will be announced later. However, the companies said the new group will have its head office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a corporate headquarters on the Australian East Coast and an office in Perth, Western Australia.

'Rising EV demand'

Galaxy chairman Martin Rowley said the merger "has the potential to be a significant value-creating opportunity for Galaxy and Orocobre shareholders”.

"The merged entity's growth opportunities in both brine and hard rock position it uniquely to take advantage of expected rising EV demand for lithium,” Rowley said.

As part of the proposed merger, Rowley would become non-executive chairman, Orocobre chairman Robert Hubbard would become deputy chairman, and Orocobre CEO and managing director Martín Pérez de Solay would remain CEO and managing director of the newly-formed entity.

Orocobre is a brine-based global lithium carbonate supplier whose flagship operation is its majority-owned Olaroz Lithium Facility in northern Argentina, which has a measured and indicated resource of 6.4 million tons lithium carbonate equivalent.

Galaxy is focused on developing its Sal de Vida lithium brine deposit in the Catamarca Province of Argentina.

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