The Canadian mining company Sigma Lithium has concluded a long-term purchase agreement for battery-grade lithium concentrate with the Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution. The deliveries are scheduled for 2022 to 2027.
Both sides have contractually agreed that LGES will initially purchase 60,000 tonnes from Sigma Lithium in 2023 and 100,000 tonnes in each of the years 2024 to 2027. Furthermore, the partners have agreed to negotiate an additional optional delivery every year from 2022 onwards. Sigma Lithium extracts its lithium from Brazil – at its Grota do Cirilo project in the state of Minas Gerais. A demonstration pilot plant has been in operation there since 2018. Sigma Lithium is currently preparing to build a full-scale production plant on site.
The Canadian company wants to stand out with a particularly “green and sustainable” high-purity lithium. To do this, the company says it will use an environmentally friendly process to produce battery-grade lithium concentrate that is “100% clean energy, uses no hazardous chemicals, recycles 100% of the water and dry stacks all waste”.
Dong Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Procurement Center at LG Energy Solution, emphasises that with the rapid growth of the electric car battery market, securing large quantities of environmentally friendly and high-quality lithium materials is becoming one of the most important sources of competitiveness for the industry. “We are delighted to sign this landmark offtake with Sigma Lithium, sourcing environmentally-friendly battery-grade sustainable lithium concentrate directly from the upstream producer and collaborating with Sigma Lithium to make our battery supply chain increasingly more sustainable through our shared focus on innovation and ESG.”
In July, it was announced that LGES would also purchase lithium hydroxide mined in the Upper Rhine area from German-Australian company Vulcan Energy. Also recently, the South Korean company signed a supply contract for 7,000 tonnes of nickel and 700 tonnes of cobalt per year with Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) and another long-term nickel and cobalt offtake contract with Australian Mines Limited.
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