SHANGHAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In another sign of Latin America’s growing strategic importance to China, SinoLatin Capital announced today the successful closing of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd’s (“Ganfeng Lithium”) acquisition of 9.99% of International Lithium Corp. (“ILC”) a company trading on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ILC. SinoLatin Capital served as advisor to ILC on the transaction. The strategic relationship agreement provides for, among other things, the right for Ganfeng Lithium to maintain and increase its percentage ownership in ILC, grants certain marketing and offtake rights and provides for ILC board representation.
Ganfeng Lithium is a China-based multi-product lithium manufacturer. It intends to provide ILC with significant current and future project development assistance capability including direct support towards the advancement of ILC's projects from both a financial and technical perspective.
This transaction highlights the strategic interests of Chinese firms in acquiring lithium exploration and mining operations in Latin America. In the past few years, demand for lithium has exploded along with the growth of lithium-ion battery technology in mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, and most recently electric vehicles. With global conservation efforts focusing on the mass production of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles, demand for lithium is projected to more than double by 2020. Most of the production needed to satisfy the market will come from the renowned South American ‘Lithium Belt’, an 800 by 300 km north-south strip centered on the junction of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, which contains over 75% of the world’s lithium reserves.
“From our vantage point in Shanghai, we believe that China is looking to become a global leader in the production of electric vehicles. This requires that the country go outbound to secure lithium supplies. The most logical and prolific place to go is South America,” notes Erik Bethel, Managing Partner of SinoLatin Capital. “We are very pleased to have assisted International Lithium Corp. in securing the strategic development capital from Ganfeng Lithium to capitalize upon this unique opportunity. We worked very closely with ILC and are delighted to participate in its success as the Company advances its core projects and fulfills its mission of becoming a leading international lithium and rare metals explorer and developer,” stated Mr. Bethel.
“We are delighted to partner with Ganfeng Lithium. We believe that China as a global growth center will play a major role in the dramatic increase in future demand for lithium. And our continued relationship with Ganfeng will provide an essential avenue for ILC to meet these future demands and to build shareholder value today,” said Mike Sieb, President of International Lithium Corp. “SinoLatin Capital was instrumental in helping ILC forge this strategic relationship with Ganfeng. It has positioned us as one of the more credible and emerging companies focused in lithium exploration and development,” he added.
“Lithium is becoming an increasing vital element that will be essential in the development of sustainable technologies to curb global warming emissions,” noted Wang Xiaoshen, General Manager of Ganfeng Lithium. “We look forward to having additional Lithium supply source in the future from ILC to meet our growing demand for Lithium element.”
About Ganfeng Lithium
Ganfeng Lithium based in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, China, is a producer of Lithium products. The Company has developed a comprehensive lithium product chain, including lithium metal and alloys, as well as lithium chemicals for the primary and secondary lithium battery market, pharmaceutical market, and new material industries. Ganfeng's principal market is in China. The Company also exports products internationally to Europe, Japan, the US and India. Ganfeng Lithium was founded in the year 2000, was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in August 2010. As of May 31, 2011 Ganfeng has a market capitalization of approximately US$562.6 million.
About International Lithium Corp. (ILC: TSX.V)
International Lithium Corp. (www.internationallithium.com) is an international rare metals mineral exploration company possessing an outstanding portfolio of projects, strong management ownership, robust financial support and the acknowledgement of valuation from a prominent lithium product manufacturer. ILC currently has 9 active projects, well balanced between lithium brines in Argentina and Nevada and rare metals hard-rock pegmatites in Canada and Ireland. The Company’s primary focus is the Mariana lithium brine project in Argentina, a salar or ‘salt lake’, covering an expansive 160 km2, strategically encompassing the entire basin and ranking as one of the more prospective salars in the renowned South American ‘Lithium Belt’. ILC’s mandate is to increase shareholder value through aggressive advancement of its core projects and source joint venture partners to expand the scope and diversify risk of its exploration efforts.
About SinoLatin Capital
SinoLatin Capital (www.sinolatincapital.com) is the premier investment platform between China and Latin America. It is a financial advisory and private equity firm that creates value for clients and investors while encouraging sustainable economic development in both regions. Headquartered in Shanghai's financial district and with offices in New York and Lima, Peru, SinoLatin Capital is the first merchant-banking firm focused exclusively on cross border transactions between China and Latin America.