SoftBank Group Corp. to Invest in Canada's Nemaska Lithium Inc.
April 6, 2018
SoftBank Group Corp.
SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced a definitive agreement under which SoftBank will invest in the Canadian lithium company, Nemaska Lithium Inc. (“Nemaska”) (TSX-NMX). Under the agreement, SoftBank will acquire a stake of up to 9.9% in Nemaska.
Nemaska is developing the Whabouchi mine in Québec, Canada, one of the richest spodumene hard rock lithium deposits in the world and is building a lithium electrochemical plant (refining plant) at Shawinigan, which is expected to start commercial production of high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate in the latter half of 2020. By investing in lithium resource development, SoftBank intends to contribute to the growth of the battery industry in view of increasing demand for smartphones and other communication devices and the anticipated Mobility Revolution to be ushered in by electric vehicles. The Whabouchi mine is expected to have an initial lithium mine life of approximately 33 years and the output from Nemaska's electrochemical plant is estimated to produce approximately 33,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) annually. For so long as it holds a minimum ownership interest of 5% in Nemaska, SoftBank will have the option each year to purchase up to 20% of Nemaska's lithium product output over the long term. SoftBank will also have the right to nominate a director to be appointed to Nemaska's board.
“Upon the completion of this transaction, SoftBank will be a new esteemed shareholder and customer for Nemaska Lithium and we are very pleased to welcome Softbank to our shareholder base and eventually welcome its nominee to our Board,” said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. “As a global technology pioneer and leader, SoftBank's culture of innovation melds very well with our own corporate values and is a clear endorsement of our approach to producing environmentally friendly, low-cost lithium compounds.”
“This investment in Nemaska is of monumental importance to the SoftBank Group's strategy,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. “We are extremely pleased to be further accelerating the Mobile Revolution, an era of IoT (Internet of Things) and electric vehicles enabled by the fusion of technology and energy storage.”
Nemaska is a developing chemical company whose activities will be vertically integrated, from spodumene mining to the commercialization of high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. These lithium salts are mainly destined for the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market, which is driven by the increasing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage worldwide. With its products and processes, Nemaska intends to facilitate access to green energy, for the benefit of humanity.
Nemaska will be operating the Whabouchi mine in Québec, Canada, one of the richest lithium spodumene deposits in the world, both in volume and grade. The spodumene concentrate produced at the Whabouchi mine will be processed at the Shawinigan plant using a unique membrane electrolysis process for which Nemaska holds several patents.
Nemaska is a member of the S&P/TSX SmallCap Index, S&P/TSX Global Mining Index, S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index, S&P/TSX Equal Weight Global Base Metals Index, and the MSCI Canada Small Cap Index. For more information, visit nemaskalithium.com or twitter.com/Nemaska_Lithium.
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