Home » Market News » Mining and Metals » European Metals: Lithium – Tesla tried to buy Simbol Materials, a lithium extraction startup for $325m in 2014
European Metals Holdings Ltd

European Metals: Lithium – Tesla tried to buy Simbol Materials, a lithium extraction startup for $325m in 2014


  • The Desert Sun newspaper reported yesterday that Tesla had tried to buy Simbol Materials for $325m in 2014.
  • Simbol Materials was a lithium extraction company which claimed to have invented an efficient method to extract and producer battery-grade lithium.
  • Simbol is reported to have tried to negotiate a $2.5bn offer from Tesla causing Elon Musk to walk away and leaving Simbol Materials to collapse and cease operations.
  • Alger Alternative Energy, formed by former Simbol executives is now reported to be trying to secure Simbol’s technology.  The new company is looking to convert brines from the California Salton Sea geothermal plants into lithium on a large scale.  The brines are 25% solid containing chloride, sodium, calcium and potassium and small quantities, lithium.
  • Simbol Materials failed to raise the $400m it wanted to build its lithium extraction plant.  It’s not easy to finance new technology in the mining sector due to the high cost of building new plants, the time taken to get to commercial production and the potential cost of any holdups or problems in the extraction and sale of product.  These issues can sink a company and the risk becomes even larger if the process has not been fully trialled.
  • We note hydro metallurgical processes are in our experience more successful as they can be trialled and up scaled relatively easily.


This note has been issued by SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP (“SP Angel”) in order to promote its investment services.

This information is a marketing communication for the purpose of the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and FCA’s Rules. It has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence or objectivity of investment research.

This document is not based upon detailed analysis by SP Angel of any market; issuer or security named herein and does not constitute a formal research recommendation, either expressly or otherwise.

The value of investments contained herein may go up or down. Where investment is made in currencies other than the base currency of the investment, movements in exchange rates will have an effect on the value, either favourable or unfavourable. Securities issued in emerging markets are typically subject to greater volatility and risk of loss.

This note is confidential and is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced, redistributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other person or published in whole or in part, for any purpose.

Neither the information nor the opinions expressed herein constitutes, or is to be construed as, an offer or invitation or other solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell investments. This information is for the sole use of Eligible Counterparties and Professional Customers only and is not intended for Retail Clients, as defined by the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and  subject to SP Angel’s Terms of Business as published or communicated to clients from time to time.

It is not investment advice and does not take into account the investment objectives and policies, financial position or portfolio composition of any recipient. This document should not to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of you own commercial judgment. SP Angel is not responsible for any errors, omissions or for the results obtained from the use of the information in this document.

This document has been prepared on the basis of economic data, trading patterns, actual market news and events, and is only valid on the date of publication. SP Angel does not make any guarantee, representation or warranty, (either expressly or implied), as to the factual accuracy, completeness, or sufficiency of information contained herein. This document has been prepared by the author based upon information sources believed to be reliable and prepared in good faith.

SP Angel, its partners, officers and or employees may own or have positions in any investment(s) mentioned herein or related thereto and may, from time to time add to, or dispose of, any such investment(s).

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP is a company registered in England and Wales with company number OC317049 and whose registered office address is Prince Frederick House, 35-39 Maddox Street, London W1S 2PP.  SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP  is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority whose address is 25, The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS and is a Member of the London Stock Exchange plc.

Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.