SoftBank enters lithium space with 9.9% stake in Nemaska Lithium

Japanese investment giant SoftBank has announced its entry into the global lithium market with the acquisition of a 9.9% stake in emerging Canadian miner Nemaska Lithium.

The definitive agreement between Softbank and Nemaska will see the former invest C$99 million into the latter, supporting the development of its Whabouchi project in Québec, a global hotspot for hard rock lithium deposits.

The project is expected to initially produce lithium spodumene over a 33-year mine life, while Nemaska’s electrochemical plant is estimated to produce approximately 33,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) annually.

Guy Bourassa, president and CEO of Nemaska said: “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.”

Meanwhile, Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank added: “This investment in Nemaska is of monumental importance to the SoftBank Group’s strategy.

“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.”

The Whabouchi mine is set to catapult Nemaska into the foreground of the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market, a critical part of the rising EV story.

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Stay close to RGN over the coming days for an exclusive feature on Nemaska Lithium in our upcoming annual lithium-focused issue.