China's Hainan Mining to buy majority stake in lithium mine in Mali for $112 million

China-based Hainan Mining, a subsidiary of Fosun International Limited and the industrial platform for mining and resources within Fosun, plans to buy a majority stake in a lithium mine in Mali from Kodal Minerals, a listed British firm, for $112 million.

Logos of Hainan Mining and Kodal Minerals (Photos: CGTN)

Kodal Minerals, the mineral exploration and development company focused on lithium and gold assets in West Africa, said in a statement that the funding package has been agreed with Hainan Mining and its wholly owned UK-incorporated subsidiary Xinmao Investment Co., Ltd.

Hainan Mining will take a 14.81 percent stake in Kodal Minerals and own 51 percent of its subsidiary Kodal Mining UK, which holds all mining and exploration rights of the Bougouni Lithium Project in southern Mali, the Hainan-based firm said in its recent statement.

Kodal Minerals CEO Bernard Aylward said in a statement that the company is very pleased to welcome the Hainan Group as investors into Kodal and as partners for the development of the lithium project.

Hainan Mining Chairman Liu Mingdong said the investment in Kodal is in line with their strategy of improving the level of resource and feedstock security and building the lithium hydroxide supply chain.

Hainan Mining is listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange. Its core businesses are iron ore mining, processing and sales through its Shilu iron ore mine; oil and gas exploration, development, production and sales through its subsidiary Roc Oil Limited; and resource investment and financing.

Based on Hainan's strategic plan, it is developing its new energy business (mining and processing of new energy metals) as its third business line.

Design of Hainan Mining battery-grade lithium hydroxide production plant. /WeChat account of Hainan Mining

In August 2021, Hainan Mining announced the proposed investment of 1.065 billion yuan ($164 million) to develop a new processing plant to make battery-grade lithium hydroxide as a starting point of its move into the lithium sector, supporting the booming demand in the EV sector.

In June 2022, Hainan Mining announced that the project (Phase I), with an annual battery-grade lithium hydroxide production capacity of 20,000 tonnes, will be in Yangpu Economic Development Zone.