India’s Altmin in talks with Australia for lithium supplies

Credit: Altmin

Indian battery materials producer Altmin is in talks with the Australian government to secure lithium supplies, the company’s managing director said, as part of its expansion plans to meet rising demand for the critical mineral.

“We are talking to the Australian High Commission and the critical minerals office,” Anjani Sri Mourya Sunkavalli told Reuters.

Altmin, India’s only cathode active materials producer, currently sources lithium carbonate from Brazil and Bolivia.

Last year, Altmin signed a deal with Bolivia’s state-owned Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) to set up a plant to produce lithium iron phosphate materials in the South American country. Altmin later plans to bring in lithium carbonate from YLB’s Bolivia plant for its operations in India.

The company is also exploring the possibility of setting up lithium refineries in Brazil and Australia, Sunkavalli said.

In the absence of lithium processing facilities in India, New Delhi is offering incentives to encourage private companies to set them up locally, Reuters reported earlier this month.

Sunkavalli said he would also try to explore whether Altmin could secure supplies of spodumene, a mineral with a high concentration of lithium, from Brazil.

The company plans to set up a cathode active materials plant by 2025 in India’s southern city of Hyderabad, and it would source lithium carbonate from both Brazil and Bolivia for the planned unit, Sunkavalli said.

Altmin is in the process of raising 3-4 billion rupees ($36-$48 million) from sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors in the next two to three months to fund its expansion plans, Sunkavalli said.

(By Neha Arora; Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj and Mark Potter)


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