Chile's SQM inks 'milestone' long-term lithium supply deal with LG Energy Solution

by Margaret Lau
LG Energy Solution was officially spun-off by LG Chem this month. Photo: LG Chem
Chilean mining company Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) has agreed a "milestone” eight-year lithium supply deal with South Korean batteries manufacturer LG Energy Solution (LES).

SQM will supply battery grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide for cathode material production by LES, which was officially spun-off as a wholly-owned LG Chem subsidiary earlier this month.

Under the terms of the supply deal, which starts in 2021, SQM will supply around 55,000 MT of lithium carbonate equivalent.

SQM said in a statement the deal was "an important milestone” for the mining firm. In addition to boosting the company’s expansion plans, the deal "solidifies our prominent position as a high-quality lithium supplier for the production of batteries for electric vehicles”.

Sales outlook

LES is projected to post sales worth more than 30 trillion South Korean won (£23.3tn) in 2024. However, the LG Group said previously that it had no immediate plans to list the new unit, but would keep the option "under review”.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics and Magna International Inc announced they plan to create a joint venture to manufacture e-motors, inverters and on-board chargers – and, for certain automakers, related e-drive systems to support the growing global shift toward vehicle electrification.

The new venture, tentatively called LG Magna e-Powertrain, is set to be finalised in July 2021, subject to various shareholder and regulatory approvals.

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