South Korean battery firm LG Chem has signed an initial five-year deal for the supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from Canada’s Nemaska Lithium.
LG Chem will receive 7,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide annually from October 2020, on a take-or-pay basis, to help fuel battery production.
Under the terms of the deal, Nemaska can, if necessary, reschedule the start of supplies dependent on progress at its lithium electrochemical refining plant at Shawinigan— which is expected to start producing high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate in the second half of 2020.
Nemaska said the LG Chem deal means it now has commitments or agreements in principle in place for more than 90% of its anticipated 33,000 tonnes per year lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) capacity.
Last March, Poland said it would ‘sweeten’ an investment deal with LG Chem, which is building a major batteries production plant in the country for electric vehicles (EVs).
The Polish plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year producing around 100,000 batteries annually.
In April, Japanese holding company SoftBank signed an agreement to acquire a stake of up to 9.9% in Nemaska as an investment in growing demand for batteries used in electric devices and EVs.