China's Tianqi Lithium is nearing a deal to buy a 24 percent stake in Chile's Sociedad Quimica Y Minera (SQM), one of the world's biggest lithium producers, for about $4.3 billion, two people close to the transaction said.
China suspects other countries, racing to secure resources to develop electric vehicles, lobbied Chile to block Chinese firms from purchasing a stake in top lithium producer SQM, its trade representative told Reuters.
China plans to open more of its futures contracts to foreign investors, a senior official said, as Beijing launched its "internationalised" iron ore contract, part of a bid to boost its sway over pricing of major commodity imports.
Kidman Resources and Chilean chemicals conglomerate SQM have committed to build a lithium processing facility in Kwinana, the latest in a series of initiatives in Western Australia to challenge China’s dominance in the sector.
China opens trade in Dalian iron ore futures to foreign investors from Friday, aiming to boost its pricing clout for one of its top imports and hoping traders will take a market notorious for retail speculators more seriously.
Diversified mining group Mineral Resources says battery and automobile manufacturers and lithium processors have been lining up to buy into its Wodgina lithium project in Western Australia, as it launched a sales process for a 49 per cent stake in the operation.