Shares in Australian-listed lithium miners jumped on Thursday after a $10.6 billion merger in the sector raised expectations for more consolidation among producers of the key metal in electric vehicle batteries. The tie up between Allkem Ltd and Livent announced on Wednesday will create the world's third-biggest producer of lithium for which demand is expected to soar more than five-fold by 2030 amid the energy transition. Consolidating disparate lithium producers may lead to smoother supply chains for carmakers such as Tesla Inc., General Motors and BMW that are increasingly hungry to secure supplies.
Top Allkem Ltd shareholder Toyota is "quite positive" about a $10.6 billion tie-up plan with U.S.-based lithium chemicals maker Livent Corp , Allkem's CEO said on Thursday as shares in his Australian-listed company surged. Allkem Ltd and Livent said on Wednesday they would combine in an all-stock deal to create the world's third-largest producer of lithium, a key metal for electric vehicle batteries. Toyota Tsusho Corp, the Japanese automaker's trading arm, holds 6.16% of Allkem's shares.
Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho Corp is concerned that there may be more moves by countries like Chile to restrict exports of raw minerals such as lithium, its chief financial officer said on Thursday. Chile's President Gabriel Boric said last week he would nationalize the country's lithium industry, the world's second largest producer of the metal essential in electric vehicle batteries, to boost its economy and protect its environment. "Like what happened in Chile, there could be more cases of restrictions on export of raw materials due to growing nationalism in emerging countries," CFO Hideyuki Iwamoto told a news conference.