Tesla is reportedly considering buying Brazil-based lithium miner Sigma Lithium, which is currently valued at $3 billion.
With the rapidly rising costs of key minerals for battery production, Tesla has been starting to consider venturing into the mining world.
For example, in response to the rising cost of lithium, CEO Elon Musk said last year that Tesla “might” now get into the lithium mining business even though it’s already supposed to be in it.
At Tesla’s Battery Day event in 2020, the automaker announced that it is getting into the mining business – starting with buying lithium claims on 10,000 acres in Nevada.
More than two years later, Tesla has yet to do anything with this claim or a new lithium mining technology announced at the same event.
However, the company has been going into lithium refining with a new plant under construction outside of Corpus Christi, Texas.
In order to get into the mining business, Tesla has said that it might actually consider an acquisition, which is not something that the company often does – especially not on a large scale.
Now a new report puts a potential acquisition target on the map: Sigma Lithium.
The EV maker run by Elon Musk has been speaking with potential advisers about a bid, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. Sigma Lithium is one of multiple mining options Tesla is exploring as it mulls its own refining, one of the people said.
According to the report, Sigma lithium’s biggest shareholder, A10 Investimentos, a Brazilian private equity fund, is considering pushing for a sale of the company; they are currently talking to potential bidders, and Tesla is one of the companies that has shown interest.
Sigma declined to comment on the report and claimed it was a rumor.
The company’s main project is large lithium mining projects within Minas Gerais State, Brazil, along a corridor known for having large lithium deposits.
It’s still in the development phase, but they have achieved pilot-scale production, and they are moving to commercial exploitation with the goal of producing 766,000 tonnes (104,200 tonnes of LCE) a year.
Sigma Lithium’s stock price has tripled over the last year, making it a more difficult target for acquisition. The stock also shot up 24% in aftermarket trading following the report that Tesla is interested in acquiring it.