Sigma Lithium surges after attracting strategic proposals

Credit: Sigma Lithium Corp.

Sigma Lithium Corp. surged 15% after saying it’s reviewing a number of strategic approaches in the latest sign of rampant dealmaking in the sector.

The nascent industry has been consolidating this year, while some of the world’s biggest carmakers look to secure future supplies of the key battery ingredient. Sigma said it has received multiple strategic proposals for its main Canadian company, its Brazilian subsidiary and the mine it’s developing. The Toronto-listed miner is valued at C$4.77 billion ($3.5 billion).

“The companies and the project have attracted interest from potential strategic partners, including global industry leaders in the energy, auto, batteries and lithium refining industries,” Sigma said in a statement Wednesday.

Sigma’s Canadian shares were almost 15% higher at C$49.90 as of 9:44 a.m. in Toronto, the highest intraday increase since February.

The company is developing one of the world’s biggest lithium projects, a large rock deposit in Brazil known as Grota do Cirilo. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Sigma had been exploring a potential sale of the company and gauging interest from miners and carmakers.

The boom in lithium has kick started a race for deposits. Mining heavyweights, battery manufacturers and automakers from Rio Tinto Plc to Tesla Inc. are chasing deals, even for early stage or pre-production projects. That includes a raft of offtake and supply agreements.

Albemarle Corp., the biggest lithium miner, is in the process of trying to buy rival Liontown Resources Ltd. in a deal worth more than $4 billion.

Sigma’s biggest investor, holding more than 40%, is A10 Investimentos, a Brazilian private equity fund that Sigma co-chief executive officer Ana Cabral-Gardner helped establish.

While lithium prices have fallen back from last year’s peak, a projected shortfall from 2025 — as demand from electric vehicles surges — is driving the search for new supplies.

(By Thomas Biesheuvel, with assistance from Yvonne Yue Li)


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