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Former Xstrata boss creates Vision Blue Resources and invests in NextSource Materials

Landscape at NextSource Materials’ Molo graphite project in southern Madagascar. Credit: NextSource Materials

Sir Mick Davis built Xstrata into one of the largest mining companies in the world before it was acquired by Glencore in 2013 and has raised more than $40 billion from global capital markets over the course of his career.

Now the mining executive is turning his attention to the battery minerals sector and in December 2020 launched Blue Vision Resources to invest in companies with projects that can be brought into production quickly to feed the rising demand for metals used in the batteries of electric vehicles and grid storage.

Blue Vision already has raised $60 million and recently announced its first deal – a $29.5 million investment in NextSource Materials (TSX: NEXT; US-OTC: NSRCF) – a Toronto-based junior that is developing its Molo graphite project in Madagascar. The funds will be sufficient to put the large flake graphite deposit into production as early as the second quarter of next year. Sir Davis will also become the company’s chairman.

The mining industry veteran noted that NextSource’s Molo project “has the potential to become one of the lowest cost producers of high-quality graphite in the world and a tier one multi-generational asset,” adding that “the initial stage of the project has been substantially de-risked, and we are confident that production can begin within a year.”

The demand outlook for graphite, he said, “is the strongest for all battery minerals with no credible substitution risk and the potential for a six-fold increase in global annual demand.”

Vision Blue Resources raised its first $60 million in five weeks and the company says it has already identified a pipeline of future investments to capitalize on structural changes in battery mineral demand.