Tianqi Lithium signs supply contract with LG Chem

Tianqi Lithium Kwinana Pty Ltd (TLK), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese lithium producer Tianqi Lithium, has signed a supply agreement for battery-grade lithium hydroxide with LG Chem, the producer said.

TLK will provide battery-grade lithium hydroxide to LG Chem between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022. The companies did not provide detail on exact supply volumes or prices, which will be negotiated later according to buyer requirements.

The contract includes the option to extend the deal by an additional three years from January 1, 2023.

The annual sales volume of the contract will cover 15% of production capacity at TLK’s lithium hydroxide project in Kwinana, Western Australia, the company said.

Kwinana will have total output of 48,000 tonnes per year of battery grade lithium hydroxide upon completion, with each stage comprising 24,000 tpy.

Demand for lithium hydroxide is expected to increase in the coming years, coinciding with the trend for the development of high performance batteries and vehicles with longer driving range. However, the current oversupply of lithium hydroxide in the market and slow demand has pushed down the battery-grade lithium hydroxide price since late 2018.

The assessment has gone down again this week. Fastmarkets assessed the lithium hydroxide monohydrate, 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, exw China spot price at 68,000-73,000 yuan ($9,602-10,308) per tonne on Thursday August 22, down from 70,000-75,000 yuan per tonne the previous week.