US company Livent and Australian Alkem, the world’s lithium industry leader and which operate the only two projects in production in the country, announced a “definitive agreement” to proceed with a merger “between equals” that would allow the construction Will give a new company with a valuation of $ 10.6 billion.
The only two projects that currently produce lithium carbonate in Argentina correspond to these two companies. These are the Salar de Hombre Muerto (Livent), Fenix projects in Catamarca, which have been operational since 1998, and the Salar de Olaroz (Sales de Jujuy, Allkem), which have been under production since 2018.
Within the framework of Arminera, still the executives of the Australian firm were enthusiastic about the investment plans to be implemented in the country.
“The merger will create the third lithium company in the world with a very significant presence in Argentina. It will be a company that will invest between 3,000 and 4,000 million dollars in the next 3 years and a billion in Argentina”, Managing Director of Alkem Ltd. And CEO Martin Pérez de Sole explained.
“This is a company born as the result of a strategy that has 3 pillars. This is a market that needs scale because demand is going to be concentrated in the 10 automotive manufacturers that are going to buy lithium. Vertical integration necessary because lithium is not a commodity and treating it as a commodity is a problem”, he said.
Continuing in this vein, the CEO of Alkem Ltd. explained that it is important to have added value in production and to come up with the lithium molecule that cathode producers need. “Added value is key in this merger and another point is the potential for growth. This is a market that is going to grow fivefold by 2030 and these are two companies that have a unique growth portfolio with great assets and capability and accumulated talent that puts us in a unique position.
Meanwhile, Karen Wijenthal, Global Director of Sustainability and External Affairs of Allchem Ltd., said the merger would be finalized by the end of November and would create more jobs and grow as a company. “It allows us to exchange technologies and innovations and accelerate investments. So this merger is extremely positive for our projects in Argentina, Canada and Australia”, he highlighted.