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Battery metals mid-tier emerging

Some British investors might remember Wesfarmers, the Australian conglomerate, for the wrong reason; its disastrous 2016 acquisition of the U.K. hardware chain Homebase. But it’s in that dud deal that the roots of potentially world-class battery-metals business can be found.

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Two confirmed moves by Wesfarmers, which is best known for its retailing operations, are pointers to the creation of a new batteries-focussed division in the Perth-based company, with speculation of a