POSCO Lithium Solution under South Korea’s POSCO Group will change its name to POSCO Pilbara Lithium Solution after drawing capital investment from Australian miner Pilbara Minerals coupled with annual supply of raw materials for 40,000 tons for lithium production.
POSCO Lithium Solution will change its name in a shareholders meeting Wednesday to POSCO Pilbara Lithium Solution. The move comes after POSCO Holdings agreed to hand over 18 percent stake in POSCO Lithium Solution to Australian miner Pilbara Minerals. The financial terms were not disclosed.
POSCO invested in Pilgangoora mine owned by Pilbara in February 2018 under an agreement to offer a stake upon the launch of an ore lithium production entity.
Through the latest joint venture, POSCO will stably secure 315,000 tons of lithium ore annually, which is enough to produce 40,000 tons of lithium or batteries for 960,000 electric vehicles.
POSCO Group has been bolstering its lithium raw material supply chain amid rising lithium raw material cost. It has embarked on the construction of a lithium production plant in a salt lake in Argentina.
POSCO Group’s related profit is expected to soar amid rising international lithium prices.
In May last year, POSCO began construction of a 760 billion won ($615.4 million) lithium hydroxide plant with annual production capacity of 43,000 tons at Yulchon industrial complex in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province. The plant is being built on 196,000 square meter site. The company aims to complete construction in 2023.
A stable supply of lithium by POSCO Lithium Solution is also expected to enhance competitiveness of Korea’s secondary battery industry that fully imported lithium for cathodes from China and other regions.
POSCO has also joined hands with China’s Huayou Cobalt to set up POSCO HY Clean Metal to build a recycling factory inside the industrial complex that extracts secondary battery core material like lithium from used batteries. The company plans to finish construction in the second half of this year and begin commercial operations.
POSCO announced that it will establish 110,000 tons of lithium production capacity by 2025 and 220,000 tons by 2030 to contribute to domestic lithium supply.
By Han Woo-ram and Lee Eun-joo
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