Kaduna, a state in northwestern Nigeria, has selected China’s Ming Xin Mineral Separation Nig Ltd. (MXMS) to build the country’s first lithium-processing plant, with a plan to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

On January 13, the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency tweeted pictures of its leadership team reviewing the plant’s construction. According to Kaduna State’s mining company, the plant is being built on 9.3 hectares of land. Khalil Nur Khalil, the executive secretary of the state’s investment promotion agency, told Rest of World that the plant is a “game changer,” which he believes will lay the foundation for Nigeria’s ambitions to build “battery factories” and produce “EVs in Kaduna.”

This comes more than five months after the Nigerian government claimed it had rejected Tesla’s proposal to purchase raw lithium from the country.

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