In a US$10.6 billion deal that includes operations in Argentina, Australia and Canada, miner Allkem and US chemicals manufacturer Livent will merge to become NewCo, which aims to become the third largest lithium operator after Albemarle and Chilean SQM.
Alqam representatives said in a conference call on Wednesday that the deal will generate annual synergies of $125 million, in addition to investment savings of $200 million.
The merger should be completed this year. NewCo expects to produce 250,000 tons per year of lithium carbonate starting in 2027.
“It is a transformative combination of two companies with highly complementary assets and businesses. The merger will enable the growth of our expertise in terms of project development, innovation and commercial capabilities,” said Allkem CEO Martín Pérez de Solay.
The latter highlighted NewCo’s vertical integration, which will allow growth and obtain competitive advantages, with a focus on increasing lithium reserves, diversifying supply and adding value.
In Argentina, Livent owns the Hombre Muerto project, in the province of Catamarca, where it currently produces lithium carbonate with plans To increase capacity five times to 100,000 tons/year by the end of the decade. The company also owns the Güemes industrial complex, near the city of Salta, where it processes lithium chloride.
For its part, the Australian company Allkem operates the Sal de Vida project in the province of Catamarca, the first phase of which will start this year with 15,000 tons per annum of lithium carbonate, and it already has expansions planned for the coming years on the agenda. In addition, it is analyzing the development of its Cauchari project, in Jujuy province, with a potential to produce 25,000 tons/year of lithium carbonate.
Allkem produces about 27,000 tons per year of lithium carbonate in Olaroz, under an aggregate scheme where it holds a 66.5% stake with Japan’s Toyota Tsusho (25%) and the state corporation Jemse (8.5%).
NewCo will be headquartered in North America, but the exact location and official name of the company will be announced at a later date.