Mining company preparing the production of lithium for batteries Keliber has been agreed by a multinational producer of precious metals Sibaney-Stillwaterin significant financial arrangement for the company.
Sibaney-Stillwater will take on the role of lead financier and invest EUR 146 million in the company through a directed share issue. At the same time, Sibaney-Stillwater’s holding will rise to more than 50 percent from the current 30.3 percent.
The new funding will enable the project planned for Central Ostrobothnia to proceed as planned. Keliber says the construction phase could begin as early as this summer. Construction and ordering of the necessary technology packages can begin as soon as the company receives the rest of the necessary environmental permits.
Production is scheduled to begin in 2024. Keliber would become the first producer of its own ore-based lithium hydroxide. The project includes a lithium chemistry plant in the Kokkola region, a Päiväeva concentrator at the Kaustinen and Kruunupyy municipalities, and five well-studied mining sites.
Demand for lithium is boosted in particular by the rapid electrification of the car fleet. In addition to batteries, lithium is used in the manufacture of various types of portable digital devices.
Sibanye-Stillwater makes a voluntary takeover bid for the owners
Sibaney-Stillwater will also make a voluntary tender offer to Keliber’s shareholders other than Finnish Ore Refining. Suomen Malmijalostus owns approximately 19 percent of Keliber’s shares. The company supports the negotiated solution and is preparing its own share of the financing arrangement.
Keliber will later arrange a share issue of approximately EUR 104 million for the remaining shareholders.
In addition to the share issues, Keliber is negotiating loan financing with several different banks. The company says the negotiated equity financing will enable competitive loan terms.
Keliber says it has built a partnership with Sibanye-Stillwater since 2020. At the beginning of 2021, the companies agreed on financing of EUR 40 million