Noble Group on Monday said its unit entered into agreements with Canada-based mineral explorer Mkango Resources to invest in rare earths projects worth 14 million pounds (S$25 million).
Hong Kong-based Noble said Talaxis will buy a 49 percent stake in Mkango's subsidiary, Lancaster Exploration for 12 million pounds to develop the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi.
Talaxis will invest an additional 2 million pounds in a new company to hold Mkango's 85 percent interest in a joint venture between Mkango and Metalysis for the development of new rare earth alloy powders and magnet technologies and production facilities.
"It comes at a pivotal time in the rare earth market with a very strong demand outlook for rare earths such as neodymium and praseodymium used in permanent magnets for electric vehicles, wind turbines and other clean technology applications," William Dawes, Chief Executive Officer of Mkango said in a statement.
Talaxis, a wholly owned by Noble Group, is involved in the investment and development of resources which are critical to green technology supply chains, including cobalt, lithium, and rare earths.
As per the agreement, Talaxis will be Mkango's preferred partner for all rare earths' projects worldwide and for all activities of any sort in Malawi.
The deals are expected to be completed by January 31, 2017.
Shares in Noble Group fell 3.9 percent to S$0.20 on the Singapore Exchange. The stock has slumped about 90 percent in a one-year period.