Leading firms advise on US$1.5bn WA mining acquisition

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MinterEllison and Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) are acting as an American company continues to build its Australian mining interests.

NYSE-listed Albemarle Corp, which is being advised by MinterEllison, has agreed to acquire a 50% interest in the Wodgina Lithium Project in Western Australia for US$1.5bn. The stake in the project to mine one of the world’s largest hard-rock lithium deposits is being acquired from ASX-listed Mineral Resources Ltd, which is being counselled by G+T.

Albemarle and Mineral Resources have also agreed to form a joint venture, which will operate the Wodgina project and develop a lithium hydroxide plant at the mine.

MinterEllison said that it advised Albemarle on all aspects of the transaction. Its deal team is headed by Simon Scott, partner and head of the firm’s energy and resources industry group. Scott said that the acquisition builds on the firm’s work with Albemarle and its Australian interests, which includes the Greenbushes mine and the development of its Kemerton Lithium Plant.

MinterEllison’s team also includes partners Jordan Phillips, Bryn Davis, Craig Silverwood, Adrian Varrasso, and Julie Whitehead; special counsel Nada Raphael, Mark Wheelahan, and Craig Bowie; senior associate Duncan Lomas; and lawyer Alex Other-Gee.

G+T confirmed to Australasian Lawyer that its team is jointly led by partners Justin Mannolini and Justin Little, who are supported by lawyers Alastair McDonald, Matt Watkins, and Ashley Roberts.