LG Chem signs deal to receive battery raw material from Tianqi Lithium's subsidiary in Australia

24, Aug. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - LG Chem, a major battery maker in South Korea, has signed a three-year contract to receive lithium hydroxide, a key raw material or electric vehicle batteries, from the Australian subsidiary of Tianqi Lithium, the top lithium producer in China.

The contract, which is valid from 2020, can be extended for three years, LG Chem said Friday. Tianqi Lithium, which controlled more 46 percent of the global production of lithium in 2018, runs a lithium hydroxide plant in Kwinana south of Perth in Western Australia.

LG Chem has tried to establish a stable supply network of raw materials. The company signed a deal with Huayou Cobalt, a major cobalt supplier in China, in April, 2018, to jointly produce key materials for lithium-ion batteries, followed by a five-year contract with Nemaska Lithium of Canada to receive 7,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year.

LG Chem purchased a 5 percent stake in U.S. battery developer Enevate in May last year and 1.2 percent in China's Ganfeng Lithium at the end of last year.

Tianqi Lithium Australia has a long-term contract to supply up to 50,000 tons of lithium hydroxide to SK Innovation, a battery-making subsidiary of South Korea's third-largest conglomerate SK Group.