SoftBank invests CAD$99.1 million in Nemaska Lithium

The Japanese venture investments giant SoftBank Group Corp has announced that it will be investing up to CAD$99.1 million into the Canada-based firm Nemaska Lithium in order to secure up to 9.9% of the company.

The investment is by way of private placement of share subscription receipts at CAD$1.12 a piece — and notably represents SoftBank’s first investment into the lithium industry.

Nemaska Lithium will reportedly be using the new funds to accelerate construction and commissioning of the firm’s new Whabouchi Mine project in Quebec and also its Shawinigan facility.

Here are two more big notes regarding the deal: “For so long as it holds a minimum ownership interest of 5% in Nemaska, SoftBank will have the option each year to purchase up to 20% of Nemaska’s lithium product output over the long term. SoftBank will also have the right to nominate a director to be appointed to Nemaska’s board.”

Lithium mining really looks to be a sector that’s slated to boom over the coming years, so the investment comes at a time when lithium batteries are increasingly being installed in electric cars, including Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model X and General Motors Co’s modestly-priced Chevy Bolt. … SoftBank has been investing aggressively in technology companies worldwide — mostly through its London-based Vision Fund — and has stakes in companies including US ride hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc.