Aussie conglomerate makes 544 mln USD bid for lithium miner

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-02 10:56:12|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SYDNEY, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Aussie conglomerate Wesfarmers, has backed the future of lithium and electric vehicles, announcing a 544 million U.S. dollar bid for lithium miner, Kidman Resources on Thursday.

Along with Chilean giant SQM, Kidman owns a 50 percent stake in the development of the Mt Holland lithium mine in Western Australia, as well as a lithium hydroxide refinery in the Kwinana region.

The Kidman board and SQM have approved the takeover pending a three week period of due diligence by Wesfarmers.

Lithium is an important component used in making batteries for electric vehicles, of which China is expected to be a major consumer.

Recently, government and industry in Western Australia have led a push to take part more in the refinement and production process of battery components in order to benefit from the growth of that industry.

"The acquisition of Kidman provides an opportunity to invest in and develop a large-scale, long-life and high-grade lithium hydroxide project in Western Australia," Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said.

"It also creates a unique partnership with SQM, a global leader in the lithium industry with a long operating history and deep market knowledge," Scott said.

Wesfarmer's offer of 1.33 U.S. dollars per share represents a 47.3 percent premium on Kidman's closing stock price on Wednesday.

"In partnership with SQM, we will support the development of an integrated, world-class lithium operation in Western Australia, bringing significant investment, jobs and technical expertise to the State," Scott said.