Canada-based Sigma Lithium is in talks for $150 million in project finance for its new plant in Brazil, CEO Ana Cabral-Gardner told LatinFinance.

Sigma Lithium is investing between $40 million and $50 million in equity to advance the second and third stage of the project, which will industrialize the lithium it extracts from its Minas Gerais mine, she said on the sidelines of the Esfera conference last weekend in Guarujá, state of São Paulo.

“The capital structure will be a mix of own equity, thanks to cash flow from our own output, and debt from project finance. We already generate cash flow, so we believe it is a much more benign approach for development banks and multilateral institutions than it used to be because we now generate significant cash flow,” she said.

She said the return on investment for these plants can be obtained in 2.5 months.

“The pay back is extremely quick,” she said.

The first stage of the project attracted $140 million investment in equity, including $70 million from US investment firm BlackRock, Cabral-Gardner said.

Sigma’s overall investment in Brazil amounts to BRL3 billion ($600 million), she said.

The company has already exported its first shipment of 30,000 tons of lithium to China, the company said.