Australian lithium miner Pilbara Minerals has signed a five-year offtake agreement with Chinese Yibin Tianyi for 75 000 t/y of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora project, in Western Australia.
Under the contract, 60 000 t of spodumene will be supplied in 2020, with the first shipment of 20 000 t already completed in March this year, while the second shipment is targeted for late April or early May.
Pilbara MD and CEO Ken Brinsden said that the signing of the agreement was a testament to the strong relationship Pilbara had been building throughout the entire lithium-ion battery supply chain.
“Given Yibin Tianyi’s position as a key lithium chemical supplier to our largest shareholder, our new partnership will further integrate Pilbara Minerals within the supply chain of the world’s largest electric vehicle battery manufacturer. This will allow us to capture value from future growth in the electric vehicle market while also supporting Yibin Tianyi’s growth ambitions to become one of the biggest lithium chemicals supplier in China.”
Yibin Tianyi is currently constructing a lithium chemical plant in Sichuan with an initial production capacity of 25 000 t/y of lithium chemicals, and production is targeted to start in June this year. Once in production, capacity will increase to 100 000 t/y by 2022, making Yibin Tianyi one of the largest lithium chemical suppliers in China.
“The development of strategic partnerships with such major players in the market continues to demonstrate the quality and scale of the Pilgangoora project, and the important role it will play in helping to meet future demand for lithium raw material supply,” said Brinsden.