Chinese lithium battery components producer Ningbo Shanshan has strengthened its supply chain by increasing its stake in Australia’s Altura Mining.
Altura said Shanshan would invest AUD$22.4 million (US$16m) and become the lithium miner’s single-largest shareholder, with a stake of 19%, subject to completion of various regulatory approvals.
Shanshan is one of the world’s largest integrated suppliers of lithium-ion battery components such as cathodes, anodes and electrolytes. The company, which acquired its initial 12% stake in Altura last year.
Shanshan’s increased investment in Altura follows a pattern of Chinese companies who have, in recent years, clinched a plethora of deals worldwide aimed at tightening their grip on supplies of battery raw materials.
According to China, about 80% of lithium used in the country from 2011 to 2015 was imported.
Altura owns and operates the Altura Lithium Project at Pilgangoora in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The mine started production in 2018 and has a production capacity of 220,000 tonnes per annum of quality spodumene concentrate.
Altura has completed a definitive feasibility study on a potential second-stage expansion of the project although a final investment decision has yet to be made.