(Yicai Global) June 1 -- BYD is planning to acquire six lithium mines in Africa which would secure the Chinese electric car and battery manufacturer enough supply of the key raw material needed to make new energy vehicle batteries to last a decade, The Paper reported yesterday.
BYD intends to buy all the lithium mines and it will be the Shenzhen-based company’s first mass purchase of lithium ore, the report said, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. The locations of the mines and their sales prices were not mentioned.
BYD said it had no comment to make when contacted by Yicai Global.
The six mines have more than 25 million tons of lithium oxide deposits, equivalent to one million tons of lithium carbonate, the report citing, citing BYD calculations. Based on BYD’s goal of selling 1.5 million EVs this year, this is sufficient lithium ore to ensure production for the next ten years.
Acquiring its own source of lithium carbonate is a smart move by BYD as prices have surged ten-fold in the last year and a half, reaching more than CNY500,000 (USD74,702) a ton in March from CNY50,000 (USD7,470.27) a ton at the end of 2020, the report said.
Some of the mines will start deliveries in July and the lithium will be used to make BYD’s new blade batteries next quarter, the source said.
BYD was China’s best-selling electric car brand in April shifting 106,000 units, more than four-times the amount sold a year earlier and a gain of 1.1 percent from the previous month. In the four months ended April 30, sales nearly quintupled year on year to 392,400 units, according to the carmaker’s latest figures.
Last month BYD also ousted battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology as the country’s top seller of lithium iron phosphate batteries, seizing 47.1 percent of market share, according to the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovative Alliance.
BYD’s stock price [SHE:002594] was trading up 1.98 percent at CNY301.76 (USD45) apiece as of 1:30 p.m. China time today.
Editor: Kim Taylor