LGES is Purchasing Additional Lithium from Western Australia

Lithium from Western Australia
Lithium from Western Australia

LGES says it plans to use WesCEF’s lithium concentrate in battery cathodes for the North American market. This is possible without restrictions because Australia has a free trade agreement with the USA – and critical battery raw materials therefore still meet the requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act. In other words: Vehicles whose battery cells use lithium from Australia are fully eligible for funding in the USA.

With the 85,000 tons of lithium concentrate from WesCEF, LG Energy Solution aims to be able to produce around 11,000 tons of lithium hydroxide. This material is then used in the cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. LGES is very active in North America: The company is a joint venture partner of GM in Ultium Cells and of Stellantis in NextStar Energy with a battery factory under construction in Canada, the Koreans are building a cell factory in Georgia together with Hyundai, and with Honda in Ohio and independently in Arizona.

This is the second delivery contract between both companies. In 2022, LG Energy Solution had already ordered 50,000 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from WesCEF over a period of five years. Important: Back then, lithium hydroxide was ordered directly, not lithium concentrate. At 85,000 tons, the current order appears to be larger, but in fact it is significantly smaller with the 11,000 tons of lithium hydroxide obtained from it. LGES does not provide any information about the financial scope of the current order.

WesCEF’s lithium materials – whether lithium hydroxide or lithium concentrate – will come from the Mt. Holland project, which is currently still being developed. Mining in one of the largest hard rock lithium projects in the world is scheduled to start in the first half of 2025. WesCEF is supported by the Chilean raw materials company SQM as an investor and partner in WesCEF’s billion-dollar project, as SQM has a lot of experience in lithium mining and processing. SQM is also a lithium partner of LGES.

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“As an industry leader, in line with the global electrification trend and related clean energy policies, we uphold the value of sustainability not only in our products but in every aspect of our business, including the supply chain,” says Kang Yeol Lee, senior Vice President of Procurement Center at LG Energy Solution. “By partnering with large, high-potential suppliers like WesCEF, we will ensure stable sourcing of key raw materials, thereby delivering advanced battery technologies at competitive prices.”

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