SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – POSCO, South Korea’s largest steel producer, said Tuesday it has signed a deal to buy up to 240,000 tons of lithium spodumene concentrate per year from Australia’s Pilbara Minerals, securing the key material for its lithium business.
POSCO did not elaborate on how much it will pay for the import of lithium spodumene concentrate.
Lithium is a key material in high-capacity rechargeable batteries used to power mobile phones, laptop computers and electric vehicles.
The deal would provide a basis for POSCO to extract 30,000 tons of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate per year at a lithium plant beginning in 2020 in cooperation with the Australian lithium producer.
Pilbara Minerals is set to invest a 30 percent stake in the lithium plant, whose location has yet to be determined, according to POSCO.
Also Tuesday, POSCO signed a separate deal to acquire a 4.75 percent stake in Pilbara Minerals and convertible bonds worth 79.6 million Australian dollars from the Australian lithium producer.
Pilbara Minerals said on its website that its 100 percent-owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project is one of the biggest new lithium ore (spodumene) deposits in the world.