South Korean chemical company LG Chem’s [051910:KS] subsidiary LG Energy Solution (LGES) stated on August 16 that it made a procurement deal with Australian Mines [AUZ:AU] for nickel and cobalt between 2024 and 2030, according to The Korea Times on the same day. Nickel and cobalt would be provided in the form of a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), an intermediate product for battery cell production. The amount of nickel and cobalt would reach 71,000 tons and 7,000 tons, respectively, for the six years, equivalent to producing 1.3m high-performance electric vehicles (EVs) with an over 500-kilometer driving distance after each charging.
LGES selected Australian Mines as the latter would adopt the dry stacking method during the mining procedure of nickel and cobalt from 2024 to protect the environment. Furthermore, Australia Mines is the first certified carbon neutral mineral company under the Australian Government’s Climate Active program, according to the Australian Mining report last August. Through this partnership, LGES would get closer to its target of achieving carbon neutrality and using 100% sustainable energy by 2050.
LGES sees Australia as a main source of materials for EV battery production and has strengthened collaborations with Australian enterprises. This June, LGES cost USD10.76m to purchase 7.5% shares issued by Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) [QPM:AU], in order to secure nickel and cobalt resources. It inked an agreement with QPM for an annual supply of 7,000 tons of nickel and 700 tons of cobalt from 2023 to 2033. In the same month, LGES facilitated another partnership with Infinity Lithium (INF) [INF:AU], an Australian battery-grade lithium hydroxide supplier. Though the two firms had neither finalized the price nor signed the binding agreement, they mentioned that the five-year deal would involve 10,000 tons of lithium hydroxide each year for batteries of more than 300,000 EVs. According to LGES, the units with Australian companies could help it scale up production of a high-nickel NCMA (cobalt, manganese, and aluminum-based ) battery in the coming years.