China's Zijin Mining to acquire Neo Lithium in $737 million deal

The company logo of Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd, is displayed at a news conference following its annual results in Hong Kong, China March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

(Reuters) -China’s Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd will buy Canada’s Neo Lithium Corp for C$918.7 million ($737.14 million)the companies said on Friday.

Zijin has agreed to buy Argentina-focused lithium company, Neo Lithium at a price of C$6.50 per share in cash, the companies said in a joint statement.

The offer represents a premium of over 18% to Neo Lithium’s last close of C$5.49 on Friday.

Neo Lithium said that the deal has been unanimously approved by the board.

In August, Chinese gold and copper miner Zijin said its plan on lithium and other new energy minerals were in a preliminary strategic planning stage with no detailed time frame or specific projects yet.

The deal comes after Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) last month agreed to acquire Canada’s Millennial Lithium Corp in all stock cash deal worth C$376.8 million ($302.33 million).

Last year, CATL also purchased more than 10 million shares of Neo Lithium Corp and became the company’s third largest shareholder.

($1 = 1.2463 Canadian dollars)

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