South Africa-based mining and metals group Sibanye Stillwater has increased its effective shareholding in Keliber Oy to 84.96%. (Earlier post.) Keliber is a Finnish mining and battery chemical company that aims to start the sustainable production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide, utilizing its own ore, in 2024. (Earlier post.)
At the end of June 2022, Keliber announced a financing arrangement that enables the lithium project to progress to the construction phase.
In the first stage of the financing arrangement, Sibanye-Stillwater exercised its pre-emptive right to increase its shareholding in Keliber to 50% plus 1 share investing €146 million in Keliber for new shares which are expected to be registered with the Finnish Trade Register by the end of this month.
Sibanye-Stillwater also made a voluntary cash offer to minority shareholders of Keliber, other than Finnish Minerals Group, which has resulted in Sibanye-Stillwater’s shareholding increasing to an effective 84.96% for a further cash consideration of approximately €190 million.
Finnish Minerals Group currently holds an effective 13.90% of Keliber and other remaining minority shareholders, which elected not to accept the voluntary cash offer, holding an effective 1.14%.
The second stage of the financing arrangement will involve a capital raise, which will be fully underwritten by Sibanye-Stillwater. The maximum total investment in the capital raise by Sibanye-Stillwater is around €104 million depending on the extent to which minorities and the Finnish Minerals Group participate.
Conventional debt facilities to at least match the €250 million equity contribution, are currently being negotiated with third party lenders to fund construction of the project.
The Keliber project is an advanced lithium hydroxide project located in the Kaustinen region of Finland which intends to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide utilizing its own ore.
Keliber’s lithium project comprises five mines, the spodumene concentrator area at Päiväneva, the lithium chemical plant at Kokkola Industrial Park and auxiliary facilities at all sites.
The annual production of the concentrator will be 200,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate, which will be transported to the lithium chemical plant 66 km away. The lithium chemical plant will produce 15,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide monohydrate in a year (from 2026 on).