Arbiter Capital LLC and Benoit La Salle Launch CAD$405 Million Joint Venture to Invest in Strategic Minerals

Montreal, Quebec, June 25, 2020Arbiter Capital LLC (“Arbiter” or the “Investors”) is launching a blank check Joint Venture Company (“JV” or the “Company”) focused on battery minerals and is pleased to announce that it is investing up to CAD$405 million over the next three (3) years, of which the first and initial commitment will be for CAD$50 million, or 10 million Units at a price of $5.00 per Unit.  Each unit consists of one Class A Preferred Share with a Par Value of $5.00 (paying an annual 5% dividend) and one Warrant to purchase a Share of common stock at $3.00 per share.

Arbiter together with its Investors will deploy the residual investment of CAD$355 Million in equal installments over the next 33 months.

The JV will be led by Benoit La Salle and Edward Kaplan, who currently serves as Chairman at Arbiter. The JV intends to target the battery minerals sector with a particular emphasis on long duration high-grade assets and its associated verticals in mining-friendly jurisdictions.

Mr. La Salle is a well-recognized executive in the mining industry, having 25 years of experience as a corporate executive of mining companies. In 1995, Mr. La Salle founded, developed, and led Canadian-based SEMAFO Inc. into a 250,000-ounce gold producer in West Africa, which delivered in excess of a billion dollars of value to shareholders. In October 2012, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of The Canadian Council on Africa. He has leading executive and non-executive roles with several public corporations, including Maya Gold and Silver Inc., Algold Resources Ltd., SRG Mining Inc., Sama Resources Inc., and GoviEx Uranium Inc.  Mr. La Salle is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, and a member of the Quebec Order of Chartered Professional Accountants. Mr. La Salle holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration degree from IMEDE, Switzerland.

Mr. Kaplan is a well-recognized executive in the financial industry.  Mr. Kaplan founded the firm over thirty years ago while a student at Yale, and began managing it for the benefit of his children, in the merchant banking spirit with which their great grandfather André Meyer built the Lazard bank during the last century. Arbiter has grown to include management of the private wealth of a limited number of families including his own.

Benoit La Salle stated: “I am immensely excited to be working alongside a strategic financial partner with the shared vision of building a leading green battery minerals platform. We have agreed with our partner to invest up to CAD$405 Million in companies in the battery minerals space with a secondary focus on precious metals. We are focused on building a diversified, multi-asset, multi-jurisdiction company that is underpinned with robust and predictable cash flow and will also invest opportunistically in gold projects, which are mispriced and will act as a natural hedge. We are focused on North America as well as Europe and Africa and will be investing throughout the vertical including mining and its downstream mineral processing businesses. Our objective is to become a significant player in the battery space and develop high quality jobs in Canada and abroad and create value added products.”

Edward Kaplan stated: “Given the tremendous opportunities in both the battery minerals and precious metals sectors, I am excited to partner with experienced players and to launch a consolidation strategy that will create tremendous shareholder value. We will bring operational expertise and financial depth to companies, which need capital and operational stewardship. We will aim to accelerate the development of high-quality projects with the ambition of becoming a world leader outside of China in the battery minerals supply chain. We will be able to provide short-term and long-term financial solutions to projects we believe in. We will also re-invest capital in the precious metals space, which is highly fragmented and requires capital and operational leadership. It’s also a natural hedge to the battery minerals space, which is currently experiencing a renaissance as OEMs embrace EVs and vertically integrate to lock up supply.”

For further information, please contact:

Benoit La Salle, FCPA, FCA

+1 (514) 951-4411

1320, boul. Graham, bureau 132,

Mont-Royal, Québec,

H3P 3C8,


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