First Quantum Minerals and Posco in battery materials joint venture talks

by Margaret Lau
First Quantum to sell a 30% stake in Ravensthorpe (above) to Posco.
Canada’s First Quantum Minerals is in talks with South Korea’s Posco Group about the potential launch of a joint battery materials production project.

Copper miner First Quantum said the companies had entered into a memorandum of understanding "to explore a partnership to produce battery cathode precursor materials, likely in the form of nickel sulfate”, using mixed nickel-cobalt hydroxide precipitate (MHP) from production at its Ravensthorpe Nickel Operation in Western Australia.

In a related move, First Quantum has entered into a binding agreement to sell a 30% stake in Ravensthorpe to Posco for $240m (£170m). First Quantum will retain a 70% interest in Ravensthorpe and continue to be the operator of the large-scale, open pit nickel and cobalt operation.

Business expansion

Posco, which is the world’s fourth largest steel producer, also produces cathode and anode materials for the electric vehicle battery sector – and is expanding its secondary battery material business.

Under the agreement, Posco will receive a long-term offtake agreement for 7,500 tonnes of nickel in MHP per year from Ravensthorpe, starting in 2024.

First Quantum chairman and CEO, Philip Pascall, said the firms have "complementary skillsets, which will allow us to maximise the strategic value of Ravensthorpe as a key long-term supplier of nickel to the EV battery sector”.

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