Australia’s Liontown Resources Ltd said on Wednesday it has signed a five-year agreement with Ford Motor Co to supply lithium spodumene from its flagship Kathleen Valley project in Western Australia.
Liontown will supply the US carmaker up to 150,000 dry metric tonnes (DMT) of spodumene concentrate per year, a source of lithium essential in the making of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
The Australian miner is expected to start supplying spodumene in 2024, starting with 75,000 DMT in the first year of the deal, and taking it up to 150,000 DMT in the third year.
Liontown, which has earlier signed supply deals with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and EV maker Tesla, has also secured a debt facility of A$300 million ($207.21 million) from a Ford unit to further develop the Kathleen Valley project.
A global push towards decarbonization and achieving net zero emissions has bolstered the demand for EVs, propelling the prices of battery metals like lithium to record levels.
Separately, the miner announced a final investment decision on the project, with its capital cost estimate now rising to A$545 million from A$473 million.
($1 = 1.4478 Australian dollars)
(By Roushni Nair; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)