LG Energy Solution signed separate partnership agreements with three major critical mineral suppliers in Canada. The latest arrangements to secure lithium and cobalt from Snow Lake Resources Ltd., Electra Battery Materials Corporation and Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., are in line with LG Energy Solution’s strategic vision to reinforce its key battery materials supply chain in North America.
In a ceremony held on September 22 (EST) in Toronto, Canada, LGES signed a binding term sheet with Electra. Under the terms, Electra will supply 7,000 tons of cobalt sulfate for three years starting in 2023. Electra is known to be the only supplier capable of refining cobalt sulfate in North America.
LGES also signed two non-binding Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with Avalon and Snow Lake to secure a stable supply of lithium. Under the terms of the MoUs, Avalon will supply LGES with lithium hydroxide (11,000 tons per year) for five years initially, starting in 2025. LGES will also be provided with Snow Lake’s lithium hydroxide (20,000 tons per year) for ten years once the production starts in 2025.
“As we have recently announced our mid- to long-term strategy to focus on North America, the fastest growing EV market, these partnerships serve as a crucial step towards securing a stable key raw material supply chain in the region,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “By constantly investing in upstream suppliers and establishing strategic partnerships with major suppliers of critical minerals, LGES will continue to ensure the steady delivery of our top-quality products, thereby further advancing the global transition to EVs and ultimately to a sustainable future.”
The partnerships came to bear fruit, as securing access to critical minerals for batteries has become ever more important amid the global automakers’ expedited transition to electric vehicles (EV). The recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which underscores the importance of EV battery components manufactured or assembled in North America, has further stressed the significance of battery manufacturers’ establishing local supply chain within North America.
As a leading global manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, LGES has been at the forefront in securing key raw materials for EV battery production, inking multiple agreements and MoUs with various suppliers. In North America this year, LGES signed a non-binding MoU with Compass Minerals on lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. The company also signed a binding term sheet with Canada’s Sigma Lithium for the supply of battery-grade lithium.
Additionally, LGES struck two offtake agreements with Australia’s Liontown Resources Limited (spodumene concentrate) and Germany’s Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd. (battery-grade lithium chemicals), and signed a non-binding MoU with SQM of Chile on investigating and developing joint investment projects of electro-mobility industry value chain.