Stories impacting the global battery industry

December 2020

TIANQI LITHIUM AGREES EXTENSION ON $3BN OF LOANS
www.mining.com

China’s Tianqi Lithium Corp has struck an agreement to extend the maturity dates on more than $3 billion in loans, it said, after a last-ditch asset sale was enough to persuade lenders to give the company more time to pay.



INDONESIA SAYS $9.8 BILLION EV BATTERY MOU AGREED WITH LG ENERGY SOLUTION
www.reuters.com

Indonesia and a unit of South Korean firm LG Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a $9.8 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery investment deal, the head of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board said on Wednesday. The deal was signed on Dec. 18 and includes investments across the EV supply chain, the board head, Bahlil Lahadalia, told a news conference.



CATL SOARS AFTER CHINESE EV BATTERY MAKER ALLOTS USD6 BILLION TO RAISING OUTPUT
www.yicaiglobal.com

Contemporary Amperex Technology’s shares surged after the world’s biggest maker of power batteries for electric vehicles announced plans to invest as much as CNY39 billion (USD6 billion) in new production capacity.



CHINA'S YAHUA AGREES FIVE-YEAR DEAL TO SUPPLY LITHIUM TO TESLA
www.reuters.com

China’s Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group Co Ltd said on Tuesday it had signed a deal to supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to U.S. electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Inc for the next five years.



BMW AIMS FOR 20% OF ITS VEHICLES TO BE ELECTRIC BY 2023
www.reuters.com

“We are significantly increasing the number of electric vehicles. Between 2021 and 2023, we will build a quarter of a million more electric cars than originally planned”, Zipse told the newspaper’s Monday edition according to a pre-released version. BMW wants roughly every fifth car it sells to be powered by an electric engine by 2023, Zipse said, compared to about 8% this year.



SQM ANNOUNCES 8-YEAR DEAL TO SUPPLY LITHIUM TO LG ENERGY SOLUTION
www.reuters.com

Chile’s SQM said on Tuesday it had inked a long-term agreement with LG Energy Solution to supply the South Korean battery maker with ultralight metal lithium, a main ingredient in powering electric vehicles. SQM, the world’s No.2 producer of lithium, said the contract would run between 2021 and 2029 and involves the supply of approximately 55,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, SQM said in a statement.



BATTERIES FOR ELECTRIC CARS SPEED TOWARD A TIPPING POINT
www.bloomberg.com

The price of battery packs for electric vehicles is fast approaching a tipping point. According to a price survey conducted by BloombergNEF, EV makers soon will be producing models that are as affordable - and as profitable - as comparable combustion engine models, and without the help of tax subsidies.



US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY PUBLISHES ITS ‘FIRST COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY STORAGE STRATEGY’
www.energy-storage.news

The US government’s Department of Energy (DoE) has described its just-published Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap as its first comprehensive strategy on energy storage, identifying cost and performance targets to be met in the coming years. Among other things, it sets out a target for the levelised cost of long-duration energy storage to be reduced by 90% over the next nine years.



APPLE TARGETS CAR PRODUCTION BY 2024 AND EYES 'NEXT LEVEL' BATTERY TECHNOLOGY - SOURCES
www.reuters.com

Apple Inc is moving forward with self-driving car technology and is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.



CANADA FLOATS IDEA OF NORTH AMERICAN BAN ON NEW GASOLINE-POWERED CARS
mobile.reuters.com

Canada wants deeper environmental ties with the United States and one result could be a North American ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks, a senior cabinet member said on Thursday.



EUROPE’S BIGGEST TRUCK-MAKERS AGREE TO 2040 DIESEL PHASEOUT, PLAN $A160BN SPEND
thedriven.io

In a potentially game-changing move, seven of Europe’s largest truck manufacturers – Daimler, Scania, Man, Volvo, Daf, Iveco, and Ford – have signed a pledge to phase out traditional combustion engines by 2040, focusing instead on hydrogen, battery technology, and clean fuels.



LG TO SUPPLY NCMA BATTERY FOR TESLA NEXT YEAR
www.koreatimes.co.kr

LG's new battery business unit is set to become the first company to produce batteries with nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum (NCMA) anode materials for EVs next year. LG Energy Solution is set to provide the NCMA batteries to Tesla, according to industry sources.



GLOBAL STORAGE HEADING TO 741 GWH BY 2030, WOODMAC PROJECTS, AMID ONGOING CHALLENGES
www.utilitydive.com

Global energy storage capacity could amount to 741 GWh by the end of the decade, representing a 31% compound annual growth rate, analysis from Wood Mackenzie has found - and the U.S. could make up nearly half of that. The average cost of lithium-ion battery cells is expected to drop during that timeframe, according to IHS Markit, falling below $100 per kWh in the next three years and potentially dipping to as low as $73 per kWh by the end of the decade.



INDONESIA SAYS CHINA'S CATL PLANS TO INVEST $5 BILLION IN LITHIUM BATTERY PLANT
www.reuters.com

China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) plans to invest $5 billion in a lithium battery plant in Indonesia, Indonesia’s deputy minister at the coordinating ministry of maritime and investment affairs said on Tuesday. The lithium battery plant will start production in 2024, deputy minister, Septian Hario Seto, told a virtual briefing.



TESLA TEAMS TO VISIT INDONESIA TO CHECK ON INVESTMENT IN EV COMPONENTS: GOVERNMENT
www.reuters.com

Tesla, the U.S. automaker, will send delegations to Indonesia next month to discuss potential investment in a supply chain for its electric vehicles, the government said on Saturday in a statement. President Joko Widodo has touted Indonesia’s nickel reserves on a number of occasions, telling Reuters last month that “it’s very important because we have a great plan to make Indonesia the biggest producer of lithium batteries and we have the biggest nickel (reserves).”



FORD’S BATTERY BET SAYS AUTOMOTIVE TESTING WILL START IN 2022
www.bloomberg.com

Solid Power, a battery startup backed by Ford Motor Co., said it’s on track to begin testing solid-state batteries for automotive production in early 2022, a signal it eventually could help established car companies compete with Tesla Inc. The startup, which was spun out of the University of Colorado in 2014, began making battery cells on a pilot line in its Colorado facility during the second quarter of this year. Those first-iteration cells already pack 15% to 20% more power than the lithium-ion batteries used in today’s electric cars, Chief Executive Officer Doug Campbell said.



A TOWN IN NORTHUMBERLAND IS SET TO BE THE SITE OF THE UK'S FIRST "GIGAPLANT"
www.bbc.com

Britishvolt said the plant in Blyth would create up to 3,000 jobs, with a further 5,000 expected in the wider supply chain. Construction is due to start next summer, with production of the lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2023. The firm said the £2.6bn scheme was the largest industrial investment in the North East since the arrival of Nissan.



LG ENERGY SOLUTIONS TO INITIATE AUD$12BN BATTERY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN INDONESIA
www.businesskorea.co.kr

LG Energy Solutions is planning to launch a battery development project in Indonesia. The five-year project is estimated to cost approximately 10 trillion won (AUD$12bn) and the company will form a consortium with four enterprises run by the Indonesian government - Mining Industry Indonesia, Antam, Pertamina and PLN. LG International will take part in the project, too. The two LG Group subsidiaries’ investment in the project is estimated at two trillion won or more. A memorandum of understanding for the initiation of the project is scheduled to be signed on Dec. 18. In this project, a series of joint facilities will be built to handle the processes of nickel mining, smelting, refining, and precursor, positive electrode material and cell production.



IGO SHARES SURGE AS CONSOLIDATION ADDS TO BULLISH FORCES
www.afr.com

IGO has agreed to pay $US1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) for a 24.99 per cent interest in Greenbushes and 49 per cent interest in Australia’s first lithium hydroxide plant Kwinana from Tianqi. IGO shares have surged after the company secured the main equity funding needed to stage its entry into the lithium sector, all but confirming the second major piece of consolidation in a commodity class emerging from a period marred by oversupply. IGO returned to trade after management told investors it had locked in $707 million in commitments from institutional investors paving the way for it to buy 49 per cent of Tianqi's interests in Australia, including a stake in the world's largest hard-rock lithium mine, Greenbushes.



SOLID STATE BATTERIES - THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!
cleantechnica.com

So far this week - and it’s only Friday - there are announcements from Ford, BMW, Toyota, and Solid Power claiming solid state battery technology is just around the corner.



MORTENSON ANNOUNCES START OF WORLDS LARGEST STANDALONE SOLAR AND ENERGY STORAGE PROJECT
www.mortenson.com

The project consists of 1,118 megawatts of solar and 2,165 megawatt-hours of energy storage.The Edwards & Sanborn project is located near several operating wind and solar projects in Kern County, California.



TOYOTA'S GAME-CHANGING SOLID-STATE BATTERY EN ROUTE FOR 2021 DEBUT
asia.nikkei.com

A trip of 500 km on one charge. A recharge from zero to full in 10 minutes. All with minimal safety concerns. The solid-state battery being introduced by Toyota promises to be a game changer not just for electric vehicles but for an entire industry.



RENEWABLES, EVS AND HYDROGEN KEY TO ZERO CARBON MINING, BHP SAYS
reneweconomy.com.au

The increased use of renewable energy, the deployment of electric vehicles and the use of hydrogen in metals processing will be key to achieving carbon neutral mining, representatives of Australia’s largest resources company has told an international mining summit.



CHINA LOOSENS GRIP ON TOP LITHIUM MINE AFTER BOOM-TIME STUMBLE
www.bloomberg.com

Tianqi Lithium Corp.’s rush to dominate supply of lithium -- the metal that’s key for batteries to power electric cars and back up renewable energy -- has ended in the selldown of its majority stake in the world’s most coveted mine, a blow to China’s ambitions to exert control across the supply chains required for an electrified future.



WE'VE REACHED 'TURNING POINT' ON ELECTRIFICATION OF VEHICLES: NISSAN EXECUTIVE
www.cnbc.com

A "turning point" has been reached when it comes to the electrification of vehicles, according to the chief operating officer of Nissan, with the Japanese automotive giant "ready to address that opportunity everywhere in the world".



POSCO CHEMICAL TO SUPPLY CATHODES FOR LG-GM EV BATTERY JOINT VENTURE
m-en.yna.co.kr

Posco Chemical said it will supply cathodes, one part of lithium-ion batteries used in EVs, to Ultium Cells, a battery joint venture of American automaker General Motors Co. and South Korean chemical firm LG Energy Solution Ltd.



BASE METAL MINERS CATCH COMMODITY TAILWINDS
www.afr.com

Steep price gains for nickel, copper and lithium producers are attracting fund managers to the industrial metals sector as leading producers are starting to opportunistically raise capital and arrest a period of underinvestment.



RIO TINTO DECLARES MAIDEN ORE RESERVE AT JADAR
www.businesswire.com

Rio Tinto has today disclosed to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) a maiden Ore Reserve and updated Mineral Resource at the 100% owned Jadar lithium-borates project in western Serbia. The Ore Reserve is 16.6 Mt at 1.81% Li2O and 13.4% B2O3. The Mineral Resource underlying the maiden Ore Reserve has been updated to incorporate additional drilling which resulted in an updated geological model. Mineral Resources are reported exclusive of Ore Reserves. The Mineral Resource comprises 55.2 Mt of Indicated Resource at 1.68% Li2O and 17.9% B2O3 with an additional 84.1 Mt of Inferred Resource at 1.84% Li2O and 12.6% B2O3.



WESFARMERS FACES BIG LITHIUM CALL AFTER IGO'S $1.9B DEAL
www.afr.com

Nickel and gold miner IGO Limited says it has bought at the bottom of the lithium market by snaring a big chunk of mining and processing assets controlled by struggling Chinese battery metals company Tianqi. The deal comes as Wesfarmers faces D-Day on its big ticket lithium project in Western Australia and as battery metals giant Albemarle moves closer to producing its first lithium hydroxide from a plant being built in the state's south-west.



EU AIMS TO HAVE 30 MILLION ELECTRIC CARS ON THE ROAD BY 2030
www.bloomberg.com

The European Commission seeks to have at least 30 million electric vehicles on the region’s roads by the end of the decade under a plan that would require the auto industry to massively accelerate its transformation.



JAPAN MAY BAN SALE OF NEW GASOLINE-POWERED VEHICLES IN MID-2030S
www.reuters.com

Japan may ban sales of new gasoline-engine cars by the mid-2030s in favour of hybrid or electric vehicles, public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday, aligning it with other countries and regions that are imposing curbs on fossil fuel vehicles.



LG CHEM TO DOUBLE CHINA BATTERY CAPACITY TO MEET TESLA DEMAND
www.reuters.com

South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd plans to more than double production capacity of battery cells it makes in China for Tesla Inc electric vehicles (EV) next year, sources said, to keep up with its U.S. client’s growth in the biggest car market.



from the ASX...
AGY: 20 METRIC TONNE HIGH PURITY LI2CO3 SALES CONTRACT EXECUTED
December 7th, 2020

20 metric tonne cargo comprises battery quality >99.5% lithium carbonate product from Argosy’s industrial scale pilot plant, scheduled for shipment this month.

Korean customer specialises in various end-use chemical supply applications, including LiPF6 battery electrolyte and other battery applications, where ultra-high purity lithium carbonate product is necessary.

20 metric tonne Sales Contract executed with international benchmark fixed sales price agreed - based on S&P Global Platts’ assessed battery-grade quality lithium carbonate CIF North Asia price.

Further validation of the Company’s exclusive and proprietary environmentally clean chemical process technology to produce high purity battery quality lithium carbonate product acceptable for high-specification international markets.

Korean battery quality lithium carbonate market targeted by Argosy for potential larger oft-take arrangements.

link to asx announcements for AGY


AVZ: AVZ SIGNS FIRST LITHIUM OFFTAKE AGREEMENT
December 24th, 2020

AVZ signs strategic offtake agreement with GFL International Co. Limited, a subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd.

Ganfeng is China’s largest lithium compound producer.

Initial 5-year term with GFL and option to extend for further 5 years.

GFL to purchase up to 160,000 metric tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate.

link to asx announcements for AVZ


EMH: FURTHER FUNDING AGREEMENT
December 31st, 2020

European Metals Holdings Limited (ASX & AIM: EMH) (”European Metals" or the ”Company”) is pleased to announce the arrangement of a further funding agreement with 6466 Capital Limited. The agreement allows for the draw down of up to AUD 1 million in tranches as required over 12 months. Any funds drawn down will convert to CDI's in the Company at a price equal to a 15% discount to the 10 - day volume weighted average price of the Company's securities. The issue of shares pursuant to draw downs is not subject to shareholder approval.

link to asx announcements for EMH


GLN: COMPELLING PEA RESULTS FOR 100% OWNED HMW PROJECT
December 21st, 2020

Tier 1, world class lithium brine asset now also in the first quartile of global lithium cost production curve.

Long life production (40 years+) of 20,000tpa of battery grade lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

Robust economic results, with unlevered pre-tax NPV of US$1,011m (8% discount rate) and lRR of 22.8% with a 4.3 year payback period.

Cash cost of production for Li2CO3 of US$3,518/t positions Galan as one of the lowest in the industry.

Initial capital cost of US$439m (US$338m without 30% contingency).

Average Iife-of-mine annual pre-tax EBITDA of US$174m (full production period).

RoskiII average real long term LCE price (2020-2040) of US$11,687/t LCE used as the basis for the economic assessment.

Scoping Study/ PEA completed with assistance of highly regarded, professional services engineering consultants.

PEA only utilises ~60% of the current HME Mineral Resource providing significant flexibility to increase future lithium carbonate production rates.

Completion of Del Condor acquisition provides potential financial upside to optimise the Project layout in next study phase, with ability to reduce Opex and Capex estimates further.

link to asx announcements for GLN


IGO: IGO INVESTS IN GLOBAL LITHIUM JV WITH TIANQI
December 9th, 2020

IGO Limited is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding agreement with Tianqi Lithium Corporation to acquire a 49% non- controlling interest in Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lithium HoIdCo) through a subscription for new shares in Lithium HoldCo. This will provide IGO with a 24.99% indirect interest in the world-class Greenbushes Lithium Mining and Processing Operation and a 49% indirect interest in the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Plant, both located in Western Australia, for a total consideration of US$1.4 billion (A$1.9 billionl). Lithium HoldCo will become the exclusive vehicle for all lithium related investments for IGO and Tianqi outside of China.

link to asx announcements for IGO


IGO: SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF ENTITLEMENT OFFER & PLACEMENT
December 11th, 2020

IGO Limited is pleased to announce the successful completion of its placement to institutional investors and the institutional component of its 1 for 8.5 accelerated pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer of new fully paid ordinary IGO shares (New Shares).

As a result, the combined proceeds of the Equity Raising are expected to total A$766 million and will be part of a broader funding package including A$1,100 million of new debt facilities and approximately A$86 million from existing cash reserves to acquire a 49% non-controlling interest in Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lithium HoIdCo) through a subscription for new shares in Lithium HoldCo.

This will provide IGO with a 24.99% indirect interest in the world-class Greenbushes Lithium Mining and Processing Operation and a 49% indirect interest in the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Plant, both located in Western Australia, for a total consideration of US$1.4 billion (A$1.9 billion).

link to asx announcements for IGO


INF: KEY INVESTIGATION PERMIT GRANTED AT SAN JOSE
December 23rd, 2020

Junta of Extremadura announces the granting of Investigation Permit Ampliacién a Valdeflorez.

The Extremadura Department of Mines continuing to advance Investigation Permit Valdeflorez.

Derived exploitation concession application progressing towards Iodgement next year

link to asx announcements for INF


LPI: STAGED DEVELOPMENT OF THE MARICUNGA PROJECT
December 9th, 2020

In line with its commitment to generate value for its shareholders the Company has decided to advance the low cost Maricunga Lithium Brine Project in a number of stages by fast-tracking a first stage development. This development strategy will be undertaken as the company also continues to pursue the original and larger project.

link to asx announcements for LPI


PLS: ROYALTY RELIEF SECURED
December 1st, 2020

Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to announce it has received temporary royalty relief assistance from the Western Australian Government.

As of today, Pilbara Minerals has been granted a temporary 50 per cent royalty rebate on spodumene concentrate produced and sold from its Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project. Currently spodumene producers are required to pay a 5% state royalty based on revenue received (FOB basis) from spodumene concentrate sales.

This assistance will be provided for up to 12 months.

link to asx announcements for PLS


PLS: SHARE SALE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE ALTURA LITHIUM OPERATIONS
December 1st, 2020

Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Share Sale Agreement with AItura Mining Limited and Richard Tucker and John Bumbak in their capacity as joint and several receivers and managers of AItura for the acquisition of the shares in AItura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd, which owns AItura’s Pilgangoora Lithium Project, for US$175 million.

link to asx announcements for PLS


PLS: ALTURA CREDITORS APPROVE DEED OF COMPANY ARRANGEMENT
December 11th, 2020

Pilbara Minerals Limited is pleased to advise that the creditors of Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd approved Pilbara Minerals’ proposed Deed of Company Arrangement at the second meeting of creditors held today.

link to asx announcements for PLS


PLS: EQUITY RAISING LAUNCHED TO ACQUIRE ALTURA LITHIUM PROJECT
December 14th, 2020

The approval by ALO creditors and execution of Pilbara Minerals’ sponsored DOCA on 11 December 2020 satisfies an important pre-condition to the proposed acquisition of the neighbouring Altura Project for US$175 million.

Acquisition to be largely funded through a A$240 million equity raising, comprising a A$119 million cornerstone placement (now complete) and a A$121 million fully-underwritten 1-for-7.6 non-renounceable entitlement offer (launching today), both at a fixed offer price of A$0.36 per share.

The acquisition provides a unique opportunity to realise tangible operational synergies by consolidating the two neighbouring projects into a single integrated operation.

link to asx announcements for PLS


RNU: RENASCOR JOINS EUROPEAN RAW MATERIALS ALLIANCE
December 14th, 2020

Renascor Resources has been accepted into the newly formed European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).

ERMA was established in September 2020 by the European Commission, the Executive Branch of the European Union, to provide European countries strategic access to Critical Raw Materials (CRMs).

The European Commission's list of CRMs includes Natural Graphite, for which Renascor holds the largest reported Ore Reserve outside of Africa, and the second largest Proven Reserve in the world.

Membership to ERMA provides Renascor the opportunity to collaborate with European end-users seeking reliable, secure and sustainable access to Graphite Concentrates and Purified Spherical Graphite as part of Europe's increasing investment in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

link to asx announcements for RNU


TLG: NISKA STUDY SUPPORTS GLOBALLY SIGNIFICANT ANODE PROJECT
December 7th, 2020

Battery anode company Talga Group Ltd is pleased to announce the completion of its scoping study on the Niska South, Niska North and Nunasvaara North graphite resources in northern Sweden.

Key outcomes from the Study demonstrate strong support for a stand-alone mine and anode refinery, with robust economics driven by high graphite resource grade, high anode product yields and vertical integration capturing full margins of the anode value chain.

The Company sees the Study as an important milestone towards adding significant future anode production capacity. The Niska production, planned for 2025 onwards, when combined with the existing Vittangi Anode Project operation, would form the largest natural graphite anode producer in the world and largest anode producer outside Chinal.

link to asx announcements for TLG


VUL: EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION ON BATTERIES & CO2 FOOTPRINT
December 11th, 2020

From 1 January 2026, lithium-ion batteries will have to bear a carbon intensity performance class label and from 1 July 2027, must comply with maximum carbon footprint thresholds. The EU will ban batteries not meeting the new regulation.

Vulcan Managing Director, Dr. Francis Wedin, commented: “We welcome these announcements fiom the European Commission, which are a major endorsement of Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium® strategy. Decarbonisation, responsibly sourced lithium and renewable energy are the foundation of Vulcan. Our early adoption of this strategy gained EU support and puts us at the forefront of the lithium sector where companies will have to adapt to the rapidly evolving global aims of decarbonisation in the production process and responsibly sourced materials. With our PPS due shortly we go into 2021 knowing that our project, process and product, to produce battery quality lithium hydroxide for electric vehicles in Europe for the European market with net zero carbon footprint, will be strongly supported by EU regulations.

link to asx announcements for VUL


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