CATL to start mining lithium in Yichun

The Chinese battery cell manufacturer CATL has secured the mining rights for a lithium mine in Yichun in Jiangxi province for 865 million yuan (123 million euros). According to CATL, the mine is expected to yield 2.66 million tonnes of lithium metal oxide.

The prospect area reportedly covers 6.44 square kilometres. CATL now plans to accelerate the exploration and development of lithium deposits and increase the supply of the minerals, the company says. This, it says, will help bring the price of lithium raw materials “back to a reasonable level”. Lithium carbonate prices rose significantly last year.

The battery manufacturer can process the material extracted there directly on site: CATL is building a battery factory in Yichun with an annual production capacity of 50 GWh. A cooperation agreement with the Yichun city government was signed in September last year. The newly acquired rights are part of the company’s efforts to deepen its activities in the upstream and downstream areas of the supply chain.

A production facility for battery and energy storage systems is also to be built in Xiamen, as Gasgoo reports. The industrial plant is expected to involve a total investment of no more than 13 billion yuan (about $1.86 billion) and occupy a planned area of about 1.3 million square metres – but the planned production capacity is not mentioned. Construction is scheduled to be completed within 26 months.

CATL has also presented its business figures for 2021. Among other things, this shows that Tesla is now the company’s largest customer and accounts for ten per cent of its turnover. In 2021 as a whole, CATL reportedly achieved a year-on-year increase in revenue of almost 160 per cent, amounting to around 130 billion yuan (18.6 billion euros). The transaction value with Tesla is reported at around 13 billion yuan (1.86 billion euros).

Tesla, in turn, had indirectly given an interesting insight into the use of CATL cells this week when it presented its financial figures for the first quarter. According to the carmaker, almost half of all Teslas delivered worldwide in the first quarter were equipped with LFP cells. Tesla primarily purchases these from CATL. (both Yichun), (Financial data & Tesla), (Xiamen)


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