South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution has agreed to acquire a stake in Australian chemicals processing company Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM), to help secure future supplies of input materials.
According to South Korean reports, LG Energy Solution has agreed to purchase a 7.5% stake in the Australian metal ore processing company for KRW12bn (US$11m), as demand for key input materials for lithium-ion batteries such as nickel and cobalt continues to surge.
LG Energy Solutions is one of the world’s largest suppliers of EV batteries with Hyundai Motor Group, Tesla, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen among its key customers.
QPM, through its 100% stake in Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub, plans to import and process high-grade ore imported from New Caledonia to produce nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and high purity alumina from 2023. The company claims it will be the first in the world to leave almost zero waste product.
LG Energy Solution said it had also signed a 10-year agreement with QPM to buy 7,000 tons of nickel and 700 tons of cobalt per year from late 2023.