This content is not available in your region

Australia's Pilbara Minerals, POSCO form JV for South Korean lithium plant

Access to the comments Comments
Australia's Pilbara Minerals, POSCO form JV for South Korean lithium plant
The logo of POSCO is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo   -   Copyright  Kim Hong-Ji(Reuters)
Text size Aa Aa

(Reuters) – Australia’s Pilbara Minerals Ltd <PLS.AX> on Tuesday executed a binding terms sheet with POSCO <005490.KS> to form a joint venture (JV) in South Korea to develop and operate a lithium hydroxide and carbonate chemical conversion facility.

Lithium producer Pilbara will initially hold a 21% interest in the venture with an option to increase to 30%. An existing offtake agreement for spodumene concentrate, a key mineral for electric vehicles, will be assigned to the JV.

The agreement comes after Pilbara in March exercised an option to manufacture battery-making materials with steel-maker POSCO by setting up a lithium processing plant in South Korea.

The miner said on Tuesday the initial 21% investment will be largely funded through a previously announced A$79.6 million (43.8 million pounds) convertible bond agreement with POSCO.

Board approvals from both parties for the agreement are expected in the December quarter of 2019.

Australian lithium producers are facing weak market conditions for the key battery ingredient amid a change in electric vehicles subsidy policy in China and festering global trade tensions.

On Monday, lithium miner Alita Resources Ltd <A40.AX> said it was in talks with multiple parties, including in South Korea and Japan, for prospective new supply deals after a key Chinese customer reported financial troubles.

In a separate statement, Pilbara said it has decided not to pursue a minority sale process for its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Chris Reese and Richard Pullin)

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on for a limited time.