Li-Metal, a Canadian developer of lithium metal and lithium metal anode technologies, announced a strategic collaboration with Mustang Vacuum Systems, a developer and manufacturer of industrial-scale physical vapour deposition (PVD) equipment.
The binding agreement secures an exclusive supply of high-performance PVD machines for the production of anode materials.
Florida-based MVS will manufacture PVD equipment exclusively for Li-Metal and Li-Metal’s customers in the battery anode market. Li-Metal said the exclusive collaboration adds MVS’ proven large-scale advanced equipment development and manufacturing capabilities, while protecting Li-Metal’s intellectual property.
Li-Metal and MVS intend to enter into further definitive supply and service agreements within the next month.
The company will issue to MVS 4,375,000 common shares of Li-Metal and 21,000,000 warrants to purchase common shares in Li-Metal. The warrants will be exercisable for five years at a price of US$0.627 per common share.
Quoting Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, Li-Metal said by 2030, there is expected to be more than 250 GWh of lithium metal battery production capacity globally, enough to power more than 2.5 million new electric vehicles annually.
In line with the growth of lithium metal batteries, the market for anodes is expected to exceed US$10 billion by 2030 and US$40 billion by 2035.
To meet the accelerating demand for battery anodes, Li-Metal is commercialising a roll-to-roll PVD technology. That will produce battery anodes from the bottom up by depositing vaporised lithium metal, which it plans to manufacture itself. Li-Metal’s technology and approach are designed to minimise the amount of lithium metal used.
Li-Metal produces lithium metal anode products 3–25 micrometres thick. The process has also been shown to work effectively for the pre-lithiation of silicon anodes, it said.
It claimed it operates the highest intensity PVD lithium metal anode process in the battery industry, and is engaged with 27 car manufacturers and battery developers. It is actively sampling anode materials with 12 leading battery developers for product qualification.