(Yicai Global) March 15 -- Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry has upped its order for spodumene concentrate, a mineral used in the production of lithium batteries, by over 40 percent from a unit of Australian miner Pilbara Minerals as the Chinese lithium battery raw material developer moves to ensure adequate supply as China’s sales of new energy vehicles surge.
Tianyi Lithium, which is a joint venture between the country’s biggest electric car battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology and anti-static, ultra-clean product maker Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology, has agreed to purchase 130,000 more tons of the lithium ore mineral over the next four years, bringing the total over the period to 430,000 tons, from miner Pilgangoora Operations, TA&A Ultra Clean said today.
The Chinese firm will also make an advance payment of USD15 million before the end of the month for products to be purchased between 2022 and 2024 to support the Pilbara unit in boosting its output, it said. CATL is also a stakeholder in the Perth-based firm with 7.16 percent equity and is the third largest shareholder.
No pricing was given but Yibin, southwestern Sichuan province-based Tianyi Lithium would have been keen to fix the price early as the price of other battery raw materials soar. Lithium carbonate prices, for instance, have doubled in the last four months to CNY80,000 (USD12,304) per ton.
The firm is cranking up production with a CNY2 billion (USD307.6 million) battery-grade lithium hydroxide plant in southwestern Sichuan province. The first phase, with an annual output of 20,000 tons, started operating last December. The second phase with a yearly capacity of 25,000 tons, should be up and running by the end of the year.
TA&A Ultra Clean’s stock [SHE:300390] nudged up 0.07 percent to end the day at CNY27.81 (USD4.28) apiece. CATL’s share price [SHE:300750] tanked 8.54 percent to CNY312.30 (USD48), following the broader market trend downwards. Shares in Pilbara Minerals [ASX:PLS] closed up 3.85 percent to AUD1.08 (USD0.8).
Editor: Kim Taylor