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Raw Materials

Australian group concludes deal to sell lithium from Angolan mine to China

An Australian company announced this Thursday the conclusion of an agreement, worth 10 million dollars, to supply a Chinese group with half of the lithium from a mine in Namibe province.

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In a statement to the Sydney stock exchange, Tyranna Resources confirmed the execution of the transaction, through an advance payment of 10 million US dollars (9.2 million euros) by the Chinese Sinomine International Exploration.

The agreement foresees that Sinomine will acquire half of the spodumene mineral to be found in the Giraul field, in Namibe, in southwest Angola. This mineral represents the main source of lithium, a rare metal vital for the manufacture of batteries for electric cars.

The company, listed on the Chinese stock exchange in Hong Kong, will also be entitled to half of the pollucite coming from the same mine, a mineral that usually contains cesium, a metal used in electrical, electronic and chemical applications.

Tyranna underlined that today's agreement was also a condition for the conclusion of another transaction, announced at the beginning of March, which foresees that Sinomine will invest 31 million Australian dollars (19.5 million euros) in the exploration of the mine.

This investment will make it possible to "accelerate the exploration program in Angola", underlined the president of Tyranna, Joe Graziano, in the statement, which also refers that Sinomine will provide two drilling machines.

Tyranna holds an 80 percent stake in a lithium exploration project in an area of 200 square kilometers in the Giraul field.

The statement describes Sinomine as a mining group, with operations in more than 40 countries, which is also dedicated to processing lithium for the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles.

The first shipment of lithium from Brazil, with 55 thousand tons, arrived in China, at the port of Quanzhou, in the province of Fujian, in the southeast of the country, announced the Chinese press.

Minerals such as lithium are considered essential for the transition of the world economy, dependent on fossil fuels, towards less polluting production and consumption systems based on renewable sources.

Last year, nearly six million electric cars were sold in China, more than in all other countries in the world combined.

The size of the Chinese market has led to the rise of local brands, including BYD, NIO or Xpeng, which are now threatening the 'status quo' of an industry dominated for decades by German, Japanese and US construction companies.

In 2014, Chinese leader Xi Jinping stated that the development of electric cars was the only way for China to become an "automobile powerhouse".

The country then set the target that electric cars should represent 20 percent of total sales by 2025. This figure was surpassed last year, when one in four vehicles sold in China was electric.


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