SEOUL -- In an effort to establish a stable supply network in North America, LG Energy Solution, the battery-making wing of South Korea's LG Group, has secured a seven-year deal from Compass Minerals, a U.S. provider of essential minerals, to receive key raw materials for lithium-ion batteries.
Under a memorandum of understanding, LG Energy Solution (LGES) would receive as much as 40 percent of Compass Minerals' planned annual phase-one lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide production for seven years starting in 2025. Lithium hydroxide is used as a precursor for compounds in lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium carbonate is used as a precursor for compounds in lithium-ion batteries. Lithium hydroxide is mainly consumed in the production of cathode materials and is preferred over lithium carbonate as a precursor for lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxides.
"LGES will make sure to support the establishment of a steady supply chain in North America, while it continues to seek and acquire environmentally friendly produced battery-grade lithium worldwide," LGES' procurement center head Kim Dong-soo said in a statement on June 30.
LGES has signed long-term contracts to receive spodumene concentrate from Australia's Liontown Resources, hydroxide from Germany’s Vulcan Energy Resources, battery-grade lithium from Sigma Lithium of Brazil, and lithium carbonate and hydroxide from SQM of Chile.
LGES has beefed up its battery manufacturing capabilities to meet growing demands in North America. The battery maker has partnered with Stellantis N.V. to open a joint battery plant in North America. A joint venture between LGES and General Motors is building two battery plants, while Michigan was selected as the site for a third plant.
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