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Mitsui inks battery metals supply deal with Sigma

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 13:54 -- Hugh Finzel

Japanese chemicals company Mitsui is to pre-pay Sigma Lithium US$30 million under a strategic alliance agreement for the supply of battery-grade lithium concentrate.

Sigma will supply Mitsui with “up to 55,000 tonnes” of material annually for six years, with an option to extend for a further five years.

Sigma said the agreement provided for a significant portion of the funding required for capital expenditures and construction of Sigma’s commercial production plant at its Grota do Cirilo lithium project in Brazil.

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Report says ‘lucky country’ lithium key for batteries in 2019

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

“Key sources” of new lithium-ion for the battery materials market in 2019 will again come from Australia, say market analysts.

An additional 60 kilotonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) output will come from mines in the so-called ‘lucky country’, according to metal and materials research consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

Australia has shown its ability to “fast-track spodumene operations in recent years through a combination of a benign investment environment, technical expertise and existing infrastructure”, Wood Mackenzie said.

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Pilbara secures funding to expand Pilganoora lithium deposit

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Pilganoora lithium-tantalum project

Australian mining company Pilbara Minerals has secured funding from two of its key customers, in order to expand its Pilganoora lithium ore deposit.

The funding is comprised of a US$25 million offtake pre-payment facility provided by Chinese automotive manufacturer, Great Wall Motor Company, a $50m equity placement to Ganfeng Lithium, and a proposed new $50m Nordic bond to be implemented in the current quarter, with bondholder consent.

The funding package will be combined with Pilbara’s existing cash reserves and future cash flow from stage 1 operations of the Pilganoora resource to fully fund the second stage of operations. Pilbara is targeting commissioning of stage 2 from the March quarter 2020.

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Korean-German partners launch ‘sustainable cobalt’ project in DRC

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korean firms Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics are teaming up with German car giant BMW and chemicals group BASF for a joint pilot cobalt mining project to “enhance sustainable mining” for batteries production.

The companies have signed a contract with the German overseas development support agency— Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)— to launch the pilot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

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Mine waste powers battery business

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Adrian Griffin

VSPC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia (LA), has successfully manufactured lithium-ion cathode material and lithium-ion batteries themselves from lithium mining waste.

This announcement marks the success of an extended project for LA, after BEST Battery Briefing reported last August that they had obtained permission to extract lithium from mining dumps in Western Australia.

Waste tri-lithium phosphate— which is a direct waste product from lithium mining— was successfully converted into lithium-iron-phosphate cathode material at LA’s laboratory and pilot plant facility in Brisbane, Queensland.

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Zimbabwe ‘to build batteries’ on back of lithium mining

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
July Moyo

Zimbabwe’s government has set out proposals to build battery-manufacturing plants as part of a “lithium beneficiation” programme.

The minister for local government, public works and national housing, July Moyo (pictured), said an unspecified number of plants would be built in the country’s central Midlands Province— spurred by renewed lithium mining activity.

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Portugal looks to lithium

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Jorge Seguro Sanches

Portugal is set to offer licences for the exploration of lithium in the country in a bid to grab a share of the lucrative battery materials supply market for electric vehicles.

Energy secretary Jorge Seguro Sanches said in an interview with Reuters the country would launch a call for tenders for the licences “by the end of the year”.

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Project ‘eyes Indonesian nickel for batteries’

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:56 -- Hugh Finzel
PT Vale Truck

Two mining firms have reportedly started working on plans in Indonesia that could pave the way for launching a battery metals production facility.

Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining is conducting a feasibility study for the proposed project with PT Vale Indonesia, according to Reuters.

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Mining firms dig in to turn nickel into ‘battery gold’

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:50 -- John Shepherd
Nickel West Mt Keith operation. Photo: Nickel West

Mining behemoth BHP is stepping up investment in nickel mine development and exploration in Western Australia to become “a globally-significant battery materials supplier”.

Asset president of BHP’s Nickel West Australia mine-to-market business, Eduard Haegel, told a mining conference the group’s strategy is to secure supplies of a key battery material to supply increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

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Chinese car firm signs lithium supply deal

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:53 -- Xuan Zhong
Chinese car firm signs lithium supply deal

Chinese car marker Great Wall Motor Co Ltd., said it has taken a 3.5% stake in Australian lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd., to help secure supplies of a key mineral for its electric vehicle development plans.

Great Wall said it would take the equity interest in Pilbara for around AUD28 million ($22m) through its wholly-owned Hong Kong-registered subsidiary Billion Sunny Development Ltd.

 

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