South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution (LGES) has signed a multi-year agreement last week with US-based Compass Minerals to source lithium carbonate for use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

LGES has several EV battery plants under construction in North America, including wholly-owned facilities and joint ventures with regional carmakers including General Motors, Stellantis and Honda, as it looks to claim a substantial share of the surging US EV battery market. It has signed sourcing agreements with a number of mining and processing companies in the region this year to ensure it has adequate supplies of raw materials.

This latest deal follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in June, resulting in Compass agreeing to supply 11,000 tons of lithium carbonate to LGES over a six-year period from 2025. A further deal is being negotiated between the two companies for the supply of lithium hydroxide – a core material for high-nickel batteries.

Compass Minerals will extract the low-carbon lithium from brine at its operations in Great Salt Lake in the US state of Utah, where it also produces potassium sulphate and magnesium chloride.

In September LGES announced it had agreed to buy battery materials from three Canadian companies, including 7,000 tons of cobalt sulphate per year from Toronto-based Electra Battery Materials Corporation from 2023; 11,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year for five years from 2025 from Avalon Advanced Materials; and 200,000 tons of lithium hydroxide over ten years from 2025 from Snow Lake Resources Ltd.