Sigma Lithium Corp said on Monday it has started production at the Grota do Cirilo mine in Brazil, days after the government allowed it to sell and export the electric-vehicle battery metal.
An inaugural shipment of about 15,000 tonnes is expected in May, the Vancouver-based company said.
Production is expected to slowly ramp up in coming months and hit an annual rate of 270,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate by July.
In 2021, Sigma agreed to supply at least 60,000 tonnes to LG Energy Solution Ltd starting this year. The remaining output is expected to be sold on the spot market to customers that will likely process the metal in China.
Earlier this year, media reports said Tesla Inc and Chinese lithium rival Ganfeng Lithium Group Co were considering making a bid for Sigma.
(By Arshreet Singh; Editing by Devika Syamnath)