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Forget Cobalt, China Wants More of the Lithium Market To Power Electric Vehicles

File image of a worker with car batteries at a factory for Xinwangda Electric Vehicle Battery Co. Ltd, which makes lithium batteries for electric cars and other uses, in Nanjing in China's eastern Jiangsu province. STR / AFP

The Chinese copper and gold mining giant Zijin Mining Group Co. took investors by surprise last week when it bought the Canadian company Neo Lithium Corp.’s South American lithium mining assets for $770 million. The deal highlights the growing importance that Chinese mining companies and electric vehicle battery makers are putting on lithium, a key ingredient needed to power EVs and countless other electrics.

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