Tesla Signs Deal with Australia’s Piedmont Lithium

Elon Musk at shareholder’s meeting September 22; courtesy of Tesla

Piedmont Lithium and Tesla have signed a joint agreement for Piedmont to supply spodumene concentrate (SC6) for the electric vehicle (EV) company, as reported by AP News.

The binding contract agrees upon a five-year term initially, in which Piedmont will offer Tesla a fixed price on purchase commitments. A clause also includes that the two companies may renew the contract for a second five-year term.

Piedmont has offered up approximately one-third of its SC6 production to Tesla within the initial five-year term, along with the inclusion of the potential to add quantities at Tesla’s request. The contract also states a to-be-decided beginning delivery date, to be set sometime between July 2022 and July 2023.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont, Keith D. Phillips, commented, “We are excited to be working with Tesla, which represents the start of the first US domestic lithium supply chain and a disruption to the current value chain. The Agreement highlights the strategic importance of Piedmont’s unique American spodumene deposit and confirms the trend toward spodumene as the preferred feedstock for the lithium hydroxide required in high-nickel batteries.”

He continued, “We will now accelerate our mine/concentrator development to support Tesla’s plans, work to further expand our mineral resources, and potentially increase our planned annual spodumene concentrate production capacity. We will simultaneously be advancing our plans to produce lithium hydroxide in North Carolina, using a combination of internally produced spodumene concentrate as well as material sourced from other producers around the world.”

While the move isn’t a major surprise given Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Battery Day announcements regarding lithium, it is a mainsail towards the future of sustainable transportation, which is something to be accelerated towards.

News of the deal has sent shares of Piedmont Lithium soaring today, up 83% to $0.28 AUD ($0.20 USD) per share.