Oct 28 (Reuters) – Australian lithium supplier ioneer Ltd (INR.AX) said on Thursday it was to set to jointly begin production at its U.S.-based lithium plant with Sibanye Stillwater, after the South African miner made a $70 million investment in it through share placement.
This follows a deal last month in which Sibanye (SSWJ.J) agreed to buy half of ioneer’s Nevada lithium mine project in what was one of the largest battery metal supply deals ever in the United States.
Lithium and other battery metals, which are key components of electric vehicles, have been gaining interest rapidly as the world moves off fossil fuels and looks towards cleaner forms of energy.
Sibanye also made its second Australian investment this year on Wednesday, where it took a near 20% stake in zinc miner New Century Resources (NCZ.AX), investing about $46 million.
Ioneer slipped, while New Century’s shares rallied 9.7% to see their best day in six weeks. Sibanye’s Johannesburg-listed shares closed down nearly 1% on Wednesday.
Reporting by Yamini C S in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich
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