Shipment term

Tesla’s lithium supplier aims for first shipment by year’s end

Tesla is expected to receive up to 110,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate from the Core Lithium mine over four years, starting before July 2023, but the final agreement has yet to be signed.

The Adelaide-based company said tuesday that early-stage mining operations were affected by higher rainfall and an extended rainy season which led to a temporary increase in fuel consumption and delays in surface mining.

The project is “progressing well,” Core Lithium noted, and mining has accelerated “with the onset of the dry season and the commissioning of an excavator and additional trucks to the site.”

Once online, Finniss will be Australia’s first lithium production mine outside of Western Australia.

Most of the world’s current lithium production is locked into long-term agreements as downstream chemical producers, battery makers and electric vehicle companies frantically try to secure future supply.

The world’s biggest automakers, from Tesla to Volkswagen to Toyota, have said they need an ever-growing supply of battery materials to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles.

Experts expect demand for battery metal from the sector to account for almost three-quarters of its consumption by 2030, up from 41% in 2020.

Shortage to last

They also warned that the global lithium shortage will last at least another three years, but with the cancellation of Rio Tinto’s Jadar project in Serbia, the shortage will now last for several years.

Tesla also has a five-year supply deal with another Australian miner – Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), which will supply the electric vehicle maker with more than 100,000 tonnes of lithium spodumene concentrate per year, starting in 2024. .

A previous agreement with Chinese company Ganfeng Lithium (SHE: 002460) grants the automaker a three-year supply of battery-grade lithium, starting later this year. The EV icon also has deals with BHP (ASX:BHP) for nickel and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) for graphite.