Canada's Nemaska, Orion in talks on lithium-streaming deal -sources

Canada's Nemaska Lithium Inc is in talks with U.S. private equity firm Orion Mine Finance Group on a lithium streaming deal, a type of specialized mining finance, according to people familiar with the transaction.

Separately, Nemaska said Thursday Japan's SoftBank Group Corp will buy a stake of up to 9.9 percent in the company and invest up to C$99.1 million ($78 million) in a private placement.

Shares of Nemaska jumped 16 percent in morning trading on Friday.

Nemaska and Orion declined to comment on the streaming deal. Sources declined to be identified as the talks are confidential.

Nemaska, which is developing a lithium mine and processing plant in Quebec to meet growing demand for the material used in rechargeable batteries, said last week it was in the final stages of negotiating a $150 million streaming transaction.

In streaming deals, financiers typically advance funding in return for a portion of the miner's future output at a set, discounted price. This type of alternative finance has become a popular means of helping miners fund construction.

In addition to the stream transaction, Orion may also provide debt financing to Nemaska, one person said. In its financing update last week, Nemaska said it was in advanced discussions for up to $350 million in debt financing.

Nemaska is seeking up to $825 million for the construction, commissioning, working capital and reserve funds for its Whabouchi lithium mine and Shawinigan electrochemical plant.

($1 = 1.2747 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Bernadette Baum)