SIBANYE-Stillwater took its first step towards diversification into industrial metal production with an agreement to invest €40m (R714m) in a lithium development firm that has the Finland government as its major shareholder.
The company, which produces gold and platinum group metals (PGMs), said today it would take a 30% stake in Keliber Oy which owns the Keliber mine in Finland’s Kaustinen region, considered rich in lithium reserves.
Lithium is used in the manufacture of some electric vehicle batteries. As a new age industrial metal, demand for the mineral has grown over the years. Whilst PGMs have major electric vehicle applications through fuel cells, the Keliber purchase signals Sibanye-Stillwater is making good on promises for aggressive diversification into the industrial market.
The Finnish Minerals Group, which manages Finnish State’s mining industry shareholdings, is the largest shareholder in Keliber, said Sibanye-Stillwater in an announcement.
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