LG Energy Solution (LGES) has signed an agreement with Australian battery materials producer Novonix to carry out joint research and development on artificial graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

LGES also agreed to acquire US$30m worth of unsecured convertible notes to be issued by Novonix.

For the last six months, the companies have been discussing financing and joint development of artificial graphite anode materials that meet LGES specifications.

Joint development would take place at existing Novonix facilities in Tennessee.

LGES agreed to purchase 50,000 tons from Novonix over a decade upon successful completion of development of the material which would be sourced from a new US greenfield site scheduled to come on stream in 2026.

LGES has been investing heavily in North America to supply the region’s growing demand for EV batteries with two wholly owned and five joint venture plants currently in operation or under construction in the region to help local vehicle manufacturers meet local content requirements under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

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Joint venture companies include General Motors, Hyundai, Stellantis, Tesla and Honda.

LGES has signed a number of battery supply chain deals with mining and materials processing companies in North America to secure supplies of battery minerals, components and modules to help maximise local content.

Novonix describes itself as a leading battery technology company providing innovative, sustainable technology and high performance materials to the global lithium-ion battery industry. The company also manufactures battery cell testing equipment in Canada and is growing its high performance synthetic graphite anode material manufacturing operations in the US.

Dongsoo Kim, senior vice president at LGES’ Procurement Center, said in a statement: “Our partnership with Novonix once again demonstrates LGES’ determination to establish a solid battery supply chain in the US, complementing our local manufacturing network to meet our customers’ needs for lRA-compliant batteries.”

Novonix CEO Chris Burns said the deal established “the path for Novonix to become a supplier for LGES of artificial graphite anode material in the US”.