Bacanora Minerals raises $11m for lithium project

Bacanora Minerals raises $11m for lithium project

Canada’s Bacanora Minerals (LSE:BCN, TSX:BCN), the company developing one of the world’s largest lithium mines in Northern Mexico, has raised US$11.2 million from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

BlackRock will place an estimated 9.8 million units at 79p each raising roughly $11.2 million.

This is the second major achievement for Bacanora. The company and its joint-venture partner Rare Earth Minerals (LSE:REM) signed an agreement with Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) to supply the electric sports car and energy storage products company with lithium hydroxide from the Northern Mexico project.

According to a pre-feasibility study, the project could generate 17,500 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium for the first two years, increasing to 35,000 tonnes per year.

Data provider Benchmark Mineral Intelligence reported that lithium carbonate prices rose 47 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the average price last year.

Nicknamed “white petroleum,” prices are predicted to jump 20 per cent by 2017 as a result of electric car adoption.

“I think 2020 is quite a magical year for the uptake of both electric vehicles and renewable energy,” said Peter Secker, chief executive of Bacanora. “Anything that uses renewables, or electric vehicles, uses a lithium-based [energy] storage capacity.”

Electric vehicles currently account for six per cent of lithium carbonate’s global demand.