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Mitsui & Co. expands into lithium sector with Atlas Investment: Accelerating battery industry amid global energy transition

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. has finalized an investment deal with Atlas Lithium Corporation. Mitsui will subscribe to a USD30 million third-party allocation of new shares issued by Atlas.

Atlas, a Nasdaq-listed company, is primarily focused on advancing its lithium mine project, Neves Project, situated in Brazil’s Lithium Valley within the state of Minas Gerais. The Neves Project, slated to commence production in the fourth quarter of 2024, aims to produce 300,000 tons of spodumene concentrate annually, equivalent to powering approximately 1 million electric vehicles. With significant lithium tenements in Brazil, Atlas holds substantial potential in the lithium market. Mitsui and Atlas initially signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2022 regarding potential investment, finance, and offtake, culminating in Mitsui’s equity investment and securing the right to offtake spodumene concentrate.

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The global shift towards electrification in transportation, driven by decarbonization efforts, underscores the critical importance of lithium, a key component in electric vehicle batteries. Designated as a critical mineral in various nations, the establishment of a robust battery value chain is imperative for economic security.

Mitsui has a rich history spanning decades in natural resource development, encompassing sectors such as iron ore, coking coal, copper, nickel, and aluminum. In recent years, the company has strategically expanded into the lithium market to meet burgeoning demand. With a strong presence in Brazil since the 1970s, Mitsui’s diverse portfolio includes investments in mobility, energy, agrichemicals, retailing, and skincare.

Leveraging its global network and extensive experience in the mining sector, Mitsui is poised to collaborate closely with Atlas to bolster the Neves Project. Mitsui’s involvement will ensure a steady supply of lithium by facilitating the sale of products to various consumers, including battery and automobile manufacturers.

Participation in the lithium mining business aligns seamlessly with Mitsui’s Medium-term Management Plan 2026, which prioritizes the “Global Energy Transition” as a key strategic initiative. This investment underscores Mitsui’s commitment to strengthening the battery industry and fostering stable, reliable battery value chains.

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