Bloomberg — Canadian minerals explorer Sigma Lithium Corp. has valued its undeveloped project in Brazil at $5.1 billion, with the mining operations having the potential to deliver battery-grade lithium for 13 years once it’s built.
The project, known as Grota do Cirilo, is expected to produce 531,000 metric tons of lithium per year from two deposits, the company said in a Thursday statement. Sigma Lithium, which has a market value of C$1.97 billion ($1.5 billion), is building the project in phases, with the initial mine already under construction. An April feasibility study anticipated an eight-year operating life for the first phase, which it valued at $1.6 billion.
Sigma Lithium said the phased expansion of its integrated project in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state -- its sole operation -- could potentially make the Vancouver-based company the world’s fourth-largest lithium producer. Prices of lithium, a key metal used in batteries, have soared as countries push to electrify their economies and automakers increasingly turn to electric vehicles.
The world needs lithium supplies to grow fivefold by the end of the decade to meet projected demand as the EV revolution gets into full swing, according to BloombergNEF. BlackRock Inc.’s managed funds are among investors of Sigma Lithium.