Two Chinese companies have signed an international raw materials supply chain deal aimed at creating “one of the most technologically-advanced lithium battery cathode material manufacturers” in the country.
BCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based investments firm Burwill, agreed the deal with Chinese lithium battery materials provider Hunan Changyuan Lico on 9 February.
The companies said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange announcement that BCL has exclusive five-year selling rights to lithium concentrate from the Bald Hill mine in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.
The mine, which started operations on 15 February, is co-owned by Singapore Exchange-listed Alliance Mineral Assets and Australia-based Tawana. BCL also has pre-emptive selling rights from the project for a subsequent five years.
Meanwhile, a separate Burwill joint venture company, Jiangxi Baojiang Lithium, will provide lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide to help fuel Hunan’s expansion of cathode materials production.
Jiangxi Baojiang Lithium has started building production lines with an annual capacity of up to 10,000 tons of lithium carbonate and 5,000 tons of lithium hydroxide, Burwill said.
Hunan Changyuan Lico currently has a production capacity of 16,000 tons of cathode materials each year, but wants to increase that figure to around 45,000 tons annually starting from this year.
Burwill said the deal with Hunan Changyuan Lico was in response to the Chinese government’s ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, which encourages investments to spur growth of the national battery industry.