Rock Tech Lithium Inc. plans to raise $400 million to build a lithium refinery in Germany to reduce the industry's dependence on China, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 11.
The proposed plant would be funded with about $150 million in equity from Rock Tech and new investors. The Vancouver, Canada-based company also seeks $150 million in debt and $100 million in subsidies.
Rock Tech plans to source ore for the German plant from its Georgia Lake lithium mine in Ontario, the report said. The miner is reportedly eyeing the German regions of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt as locations for the smelter, which may go online in 2023.
The project has reportedly attracted support from billionaire investors. Peter Thiel acquired a stake in Rock Tech of about 5% as well as warrants that could double that holding. Billionaire British hedge fund manager Alan Howard has also taken a minority stake, both investors confirmed to Bloomberg News.
In December 2020, German businessperson Christian Angermayer increased his Rock Tech stake to 19.6% after subscribing for over 30% of the company's C$8.5 million private placement.
Rock Tech Chairman Dirk Harbecke has told investors that Tesla Inc. is a possible strategic partner while noting that Volkswagen AG owns an electric-car plant near the planned refinery, the report said.