It’s official: the managerial board of Australian mining firm Azure Minerals Ltd is backing the most recent bid from the lithium mining arm of the Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM.) Azure released an official statement regarding the bid on Thursday, October 26th.
The total amount offered in SQM’s most recent bid now stands at US$1 billion, a cash offer that was increased by 52% from the Chilean mining giant’s initial offer made in August of this year, which was subsequently nixed by Azure.
Following the announcement, Azure shares traded on the Australian stock market found their value shoot up by nearly 44%, the highest they have been in nearly 20 years.
It should also be noted that, since June when it announced the initial results from drilling at a site in Western Australia, one of the world’s richest zones in terms of raw lithium, Azure’s share value has gone up by 150%.
The new deal essentially gives SQM a greater foothold into the Australian lithium scene, given how it is currently Azure’s biggest shareholder, having purchased around 20% of the company back in January.
Azure’s acceptance of SQM’s sweetened offer is just the most recent development in the ongoing spate of offers and mergers happening in the Australian lithium industry, seeing how leading mining firms have been rushing to secure their respective supplies of the vital component for rechargeable electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Among those who have expressed an interest in buying into or tying up with Australian firms with access to massive lithium deposits are the likes of Tesla and Rio Tinto.
Interestingly, these giants have been wooing smaller companies as these, more or less, form the dominant community in the Australian lithium sector. Despite their size, many of these firms currently have mining initiatives that are either in the earliest production stages or are in pre-production.