Bloomberg News

Toyota in Talks With Canadian Rare-Earth Miner to Form Venture

December 14, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Tsusho Corp., the trading company of Asia’s largest automaker, will help accelerate production of rare-earth metals for Canadian mining company Matamec Explorations Inc. and buy all the output from its Kipawa mine.

A memorandum of understanding between the two companies offers Toyota Tsusho a supply of metals needed for its hybrid and electric vehicles, Montreal-based Matamec said in a statement yesterday.

The agreement calls for the two companies to form a joint venture under which Toyota Tsusho, based in Aichi, Japan, would pay $17.5 million for 49 percent of the venture. Toyota Tsusho will buy all of the mine’s output, Andre Gauthier, Matamec’s chief executive officer, said by telephone yesterday.

This is the second time this month an Asian company has sought a rare earths development agreement. On Dec. 4, Korea Resources Corp. led a group of Korean companies in an agreement with Luxembourg-based Frontier Rare Earths to develop its South African mine.

Matamec explores for rare earths, base metals and precious metals. It rose 12 percent to 32 Canadian cents at the close in Toronto, the biggest gain in more than two months. Matamec has fallen 49 percent this year.

--Editors: Jessica Resnick-Ault, Tina Davis

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonja Elmquist in New York at selmquist1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net


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