The drive to secure a supply of lithium has seen battery maker CATL bid 865 million yuan (about $134.8 million) for the exploration rights to a lithium clay project in Yichun, east China’s Jiangxi province.
Yichun Contemporary Amperex Resources, a subsidiary of CATL, won the bid for the deposit estimated to contain about 2.66 million tons of associated lithium metal oxide in the 960.25 million tons of porcelain clay minerals.
The site is located in Huaqiao Town of Yifeng County and Shangfu Town of Fengxin County and covers an area of 6.44 square kilometers.
Last September, CATL signed an agreement with the Yichun municipal government to jointly build a new lithium-ion battery production base and strengthen cooperation in the upstream and downstream sectors of the industry chain.
The purchase of the Yichun lithium clay deposit will allow CATL to speed up the exploration and development of lithium mineral resources and increase the supply of lithium in a bid to bring the prices of lithium related raw materials back to a “reasonable level”.
The company also hopes to ensure the security of national strategic mineral resources, and help Yichun build a new energy industry system ranging from lithium resources, lithium-ion battery materials, EV batteries to electric vehicles so as to develop the city into a sustainable lithium-ion battery hub in Asia.