Lithium industry looks to Australia for refining, not just mining

Lithium companies are looking to refine the crucial battery metal in Australia, where much of it is mined, in an effort to reduce shipping waste and develop new supply chains that bypass China.

The market for lithium—used in the production of electric batteries—is tight and likely to get tighter. Demand this year is expected to be 910,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, or LCE, exceeding the 900,000 tons in supply. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, which tracks the global battery supply chain, estimates that by 2030 around 2.7 million tons of LCE will be required annually, outstripping supply by 300,000 tons. 

This month, TVL’s parent company, U.K.-based Alkemy Capital Investments PLC, announced a memorandum of understanding to supply lithium hydroxide to Recharge Industries Pty Ltd. Recharge, an Australian battery-manufacturing startup, earlier this month was selected as the preferred bidder for collapsed U.K. rival Britishvolt.

Alkemy Capital Investments plc (LON:ALK, FRA: JV2) is focussed on developing projects in the energy transition metals sector. Alkemy’s wholly-owned subsidiary Tees Valley Lithium (TVL) is developing a state of the art lithium hydroxide plant at Teesside, UK. TVL is Europe’s largest independent and sustainable lithium hydroxide producer.

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