Tesla is reportedly considering buying a Brazilian lithium mining company that would aid its battery-producing efforts and supply the key component to its yet-to-be-built lithium refinery near Corpus Christi in Texas.
The report comes via Bloomberg, which quotes people with knowledge of the matter who say that Tesla is in preliminary talks with A10 Investimentos, a Brazilian private equity fund that holds 46 percent of Sigma Lithium Corp.
The source says the deliberations may not lead to a transaction, as the miner's value tripled in the last 12 months thanks to the huge demand for lithium from the electric car industry, as well as high expectations from the owners in terms of price. Currently, the company's Toronto-listed shares are valued at $3.1 billion.
Moreover, neither Tesla nor Elon Musk has commented on this information, while a representative of Sigma Lithium declined to comment on “rumors.”
The mining company is currently developing a large lithium rock deposit known as Grota do Cirilo in Brazil and it said back in December that it's considering tripling lithium production at the aforementioned site in 2024 after it was revealed that the mineral reserves were 63% higher than expected.
In the past, Tesla and Elon Musk made claims about getting into the mining business by buying lithium claims in Nevada and by patenting a method of extracting lithium from ore with the help of table salt, but nothing really happened on these fronts.
With this being said, however, Tesla will build a lithium refinery outside of Corpus Christi, Texas, where it will process the lithium that comes from the company's suppliers before it makes its way to the battery assembly lines.
By buying a mining company, Tesla would have direct access to its resources, without intermediaries, which could lower the cost of production for the cars it makes and, more importantly, it would prepare the American EV brand for a looming lithium crisis that will hit unprepared carmakers the hardest.
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