Morrison Foerster has advised Imerys, the French-listed world leader in mineral-based specialtysolutions, on its joint venture with British Lithium to accelerate development of the UK’s largest lithium deposit.
Imerys has acquired an 80 percent stake in the joint venture, with British Lithium holding the remaining 20 percent stake. The joint venture will result in the UK’s first integrated producer of battery-grade lithium carbonate—with production targets that could supply 500,000 electric cars per year and fulfill two-thirds of Britain’s anticipated battery demand by 2030.
Cornwall-based British Lithium will combine its advanced lithium carbonate-producing technology with Imerys’ world-leading mining expertise to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from local granite.
The joint venture, supported by national agency Innovate UK and the Automotive Transformation Fund, will see Cornwall become the leading lithium hub in the UK and play a key role in the transition to sustainable energy.
The MoFo team was led by corporate partner Gary Brown, with the support from of counsel Jennifer Buckby and associate James Dabell. The team also included Marie-Claire Strawbridge and Julia Kotamaki (National Security); Alistair Maughan and Sana Ashcroft (IP); Sophie Allen and Kirsten Banks (Tax); Oliver Spratt, Lara King and Dan Alam (Employment and Data Privacy). Partner Simon Trahair-Davies and associate Sam Dunstan of Stephens Scown advised Imerys on real estate matters.
Commenting on the joint venture, Gary Brown said, “We are delighted to have supported Imerys with this milestone transaction, which will bolster the UK’s domestic supply of this critical mineral at a time when demand for electric cars is accelerating.”
Grégoire Lemiesle, who led the legal team for Imerys, said, “We are extremely pleased to have worked with Morrison Foerster on this exciting project. Gary and his team were truly instrumental to the success of the deal, helping find pragmatic and creative solutions throughout the process.”