In another sign of Latin America growing strategic importance to China, SinoLatin Capital announced on June 1 the successful closing of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd (anfeng Lithium acquisition of 9.99% of International Lithium Corp. (LC, a company trading on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ILC.
SinoLatin Capital served as advisor to ILC on the transaction. The strategic relationship agreement provides for, among other things, the right for Ganfeng Lithium to maintain and increase its percentage ownership in ILC, grants certain marketing and off-take rights and provides for ILC board representation.
Ganfeng Lithium is a China-based multi-product lithium manufacturer. It intends to provide ILC with significant current and future project development assistance capability including direct support towards the advancement of ILC's projects from both a financial and technical perspective.
This transaction highlights the strategic interests of Chinese firms in acquiring lithium exploration and mining operations in Latin America. In the past few years, demand for lithium has exploded along with the growth of lithium-ion battery technology in mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, and most recently electric vehicles. With global conservation efforts focusing on the mass production of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles, demand for lithium is projected to more than double by 2020. Most of the production needed to satisfy the market will come from the renowned South American ithium Belt an 800 by 300 km north-south strip centered on the junction of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, which contains over 75% of the world lithium reserves.