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Simplified MARBL JV agreement reached

Mineral Resources (MinRes) has announced amended terms of transactions signed with Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle) in February 2023.

The updated MARBL Joint Venture will simplify commercial arrangements between the two companies and ensure each has the flexibility and focus required to deliver value for their shareholders in an evolving market.

Under the agreed amended terms, MinRes will increase its share of the Wodgina lithium mine to 50% and remain operator, and Albemarle will take full ownership of the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant it currently operates.

As per the February 2023 agreement, the economic effective date for the revised transaction will be 1 April 2022.

Albemarle will pay MinRes an estimated US$380-400 million, including the net consideration for MinRes’ share of Kemerton and completion adjustments at Wodgina and Kemerton.

Under the updated agreements, MinRes will no longer invest in any Chinese conversion assets with Albemarle and will not make any payments to Albemarle for joint downstream investments.

MinRes will transition to market its own share of Wodgina spodumene concentrate and lithium battery chemicals within two months of the Completion Date and has established an office and warehouse in Ningbo, China.

MinRes will enter into a transitional tolling arrangement with Albemarle to convert Wodgina spodumene until 30 June 2024, allowing MinRes to continue building its team in China.

Completion of the MARBL Joint Venture arrangements is expected in the December quarter and is dependent on approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

MinRes Chief Executive Lithium, Josh Thurlow said the changes are win for both parties.

“MinRes and Albemarle remain great joint venture partners in the world-class Wodgina lithium mine, while maximising flexibility to focus on the strengths of our businesses,” Thurlow said.

“It’s a testament to our working relationship that we were able to negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes that deliver value for both sets of investors.”

“For MinRes, the changes unlock value from our non-integrated Kemerton processing facility, which will provide flexibility to continue expanding our hard rock assets and develop our own integrated lithium conversion assets in Australia and abroad.”

More information is available in our ASX Announcement.