Australia's Sayona Mining raises $33.7 mln to fund deal, lithium project

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July 12 (Reuters) – Australian lithium producer Sayona Mining said on Monday it raised A$45 million ($33.68 million) through a share issue to fund an acquisition and build on its Abitibi lithium hub in Quebec, Canada.

The race by lithium miners to raise money and expand projects tracks the global demand for the electric-vehicle battery metal, which is poised to soar in the coming decade as more countries move to electrify transportation and cut carbon emissions.

Sayona, which operates in Western Australia and Quebec, said it could raise another A$5 million through a share issue to retail shareholders next month.

The total proceeds will be used to fund the company’s successful bid with its top shareholder Piedmont Lithium Inc for Canadian firm North American Lithium at C$94 million ($75.56 million).

The company plans to integrate the mine owned by North American Lithium with its Authier lithium project to create the Abitibi lithium hub.

Shares, which were on a trading halt since Thursday, fell as much as 13.4%. The new shares were priced at a 22% discount.

($1 = 1.3360 Australian dollars)

($1 = 1.2440 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)