NIO through its subsidiary Blue Northstar Limited plans to invest in Greenwing Resources which is an Australian lithium mining company based in Australia, according to a press release issued by Greenwing on September 26.
This investment allows Greenwing to accelerate its exploration program at the San Jorge Lithium Project in the Argentine province of Catamarca and makes NIO a potential joint venture and offtake partner.
Nio had to pay $12 million for a 12.16% stake in Greenwing Resources. As part of the deal, Nio acquired the right to one candidate on the Greenwing board and a call option to acquire between 20% and 40% of Andes Litio SA’s issued capital.
At least 80% of the Placement proceeds will be used for the San Jorge Lithium Project, with the remaining amount to be used for general working capital and other business purposes.
Nio’s move follows several other electric vehicle manufacturers trying to secure supplies of the essential minerals needed to manufacture electric vehicle batteries.
Nio itself must compete with established battery makers to secure supplies of key minerals to make electric vehicle batteries. Last year, CATL paid nearly $300 million to buy Vancouver-based Millennial Lithium.
Nio is known to be preparing to build its own battery packs starting in 2024. CEO William Li said on a June earnings call that the company is increasing its battery-related investments to get more bargaining power over upstream costs.
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