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Key EV battery producer LG Energy Solution is snapping up all of the mixed nickel-cobalt hydroxide to be produced by North Queensland’s Sconi project in its first six years.

Sconi proponent Australian Mines has hailed the binding offtake agreement with LGES as a major milestone for the $2 billion project.

And LGES believes the deal will help it gain an upper hand in securing stable supply as the race to procure raw materials for EV batteries becomes fierce amid growing global demand.

The agreement has only one condition precedent – that Australian Mines secures financing for construction of the Sconi project on or before June 30 next year, or at a later date subject to the agreement of both parties.

The offtake deal will see LGES purchase 71,000 dry metric tonnes of nickel and 7000 dry metric tonnes of cobalt in the form of a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) for six years from the end of 2024.

MHP is a nickel and cobalt-containing intermediate product used as a raw material input for lithium-ion battery production.

Securing key raw materials for EV batteries critical – LGES

Announcing the deal, LG Energy Solution said it had secured 100 per cent rights to battery-grade nickel and cobalt materials from Australian Mines amid growing concerns about future supplies of raw materials.

The six-year supply deal would translate to producing batteries that could power 1.3 million highperformance electric vehicles, with driving range surpassing 500km on a single charge, it said.

“Securing key raw materials and a responsible battery supply chain has become a critical element in gaining a greater control within the industry, as the demand for electric vehicles worldwide heightened in recent years,” LGES president and chief executive officer Jong-hyun Kim said.

“LGES will solidify its position as the world’s leading battery manufacturer through a steady supply of raw materials for EV batteries.”

Australian Minesaid it would now move swiftly to finalise agreements with a range of financing partners.

Breakthrough battery supply deal for Sconi