One of Australia’s lithium production companies will make its first shipment to several international clients, including leading electric vehicle maker Tesla.
Last June 21st, Aussie firm Core Lithium Ltd. announced that mining at its Finniss initiative in Darwin has accelerated with the dry season, along with the deployment of additional trucks and an extra excavator to the site.
At the moment, progress at the site is going well, so the Adelaide-based firm is keen to send its first shipment of spodumene concentrate – a prime source of industrial-grade lithium – to Tesla and Chinese companies Ganfeng Lithium and the Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group.
All Systems Go
Back in March, Core Lithium’s management team announced that the Finniss project is expected to produce nearly 110,000 tons of spodumene concentrate for Tesla’s use over a four-year period.
However, they added that the earlier stages of the mining operation were hampered by numerous factors, including an extended wet season and greater rainfall. These resulted in an increase in fuel consumption and the postponement of open-pit mining operations for safety purposes.
Likewise, the company expects its year-end target to increase. However, this will be dependent on whether they could avoid further delays because of the weather and any issues related to the ongoing pandemic.
However, the Core Lithium announcement did not exactly help improve its market performance. On the day the announcement was made, the company’s share price fell by 6.5% on the Sydney bourse, trimming the more than 300% growth it has enjoyed thus far.
But Core Lithium isn�t the only Aussie company that has inked supply agreements with the world�s leading EV manufacturer.
For its part, Tesla has also finalized several off-take agreements with several lithium mining companies. These include another Australian firm, Liontown Resources Ltd., which announced earlier this month that it hopes to start shipping lithium-rich material to the EV maker in 2024.
The price of lithium, one of the primary ingredients necessary for the production of rechargeable electric car batteries, has been soaring over the past couple of years. Last year, the raw material’s price increased by nearly 500%, improving profits for mining companies worldwide.
However, the escalating price of the material has hurt automakers. Many of them have begun to raise sticker prices on their electric vehicles.