Lifezone Metals, which plans to mine nickel in Tanzania with a low carbon footprint, will list in New York in a deal with blank-check acquisition firm GoGreen Investments, the companies said on Tuesday.
Lifezone Metals, valued by the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal at around $1-billion, owns the Kabanga Nickel mine and refinery project, backed in January by global miner BHP.
The Kabanga refinery will use hydrometallurgical technology developed by Lifezone that employs water-based solutions to separate metal from waste rock more efficiently than the traditional energy-intensive smelting process of heating ore at extremely high temperatures.
“This is really providing two key solutions: a critical new source of battery metals in Kabanga, in partnership with BHP, and clean, ESG-friendly processing technology,” said Lifezone Metals CEO Chris Showalter.
Kabanga, which Lifezone aims to bring into production in 2026, has a 44 million tonne resource containing nickel, as well as copper and cobalt.
The mine was previously owned by Barrick Gold and Glencore until Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s administration revoked their retention licence in 2018.
BHP has agreed to double its 8.9% investment in Kabanga Nickel, and has an option to further increase its stake to 60.7%.
Lifezone Metals, advised on this deal by RBC Capital Markets, should start trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2023 under the ticker LZM. Investors have committed more than $70 million to the company through a private investment in public equity (PIPE).
“When I look at where capital has been deployed so far, there has been ample capital raised for electric vehicles, and for batteries, but very little capital raised for the supply chain, and that means clean metals,” said John Dowd, CEO of GoGreen Investments.
The refinery plan is a win for Tanzania which, like many resource-rich African countries, wants to add more value to its minerals domestically. The Tanzanian government has a 16% stake in Kabanga Nickel’s Tanzania subsidiary Tembo Nickel.
“We believe Tembo Nickel will be a key vehicle supporting Tanzania’s status as an emerging leader in the clean energy transition,” said Tanzania’s minister of minerals Doto Biteko.