ioneer signs lithium supply deal with Toyota-Panasonic battery JV

ioneer signs lithium supply deal with Toyota-Panasonic battery JV

The joint battery venture of Japanese carmaker, Toyota Motor Corp and electronics maker, Panasonic Corp has reportedly entered a supply deal with Australian mining firm, ioneer Ltd for lithium from the latter’s Rhyolite Ridge mining project in Nevada, U.S.

The joint venture, which was formed to reinforce competition with battery-making leader Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), will be utilizing lithium for the production of electric vehicle batteries in the United States.

The deal, which was announced last weekend, is second in line for ioneer within a month, showing strong support for its project, in the race to become the country’s first new source of battery metal.

As per the agreement, ioneer will be supplying 4,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate yearly to Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), the joint venture formed by Toyota and Panasonic, over a period of five years.

The supply is expected to begin in 2025, partially depending on how soon the mining firm obtains financing and permissions.

The deal is also inclusive of Japan- based PPES’, commitment to ioneer that the lithium would be utilized in building EV battery parts in the U.S. for the country’s EV market.

James Calaway, Executive Chairman, ioneer, disclosed that the whole purpose of the agreement was the continuous use of lithium in the U.S.

As per the proposed expansion of the country's EV tax credit, lithium and other minerals for EV are required to be sourced from within the U.S. or from its allies. Although still being debated in Congress, this change has highlighted the growing development plans of auto and battery-makers.

Hiroaki Koda, President of PPES, expressed confidence in ioneer’s technology while stating that the agreement would provide PPES the first step in securing a domestic supply of lithium in the U.S.

For the record, ioneer signed a supply deal with American carmaker, Ford Motor Co around mid-July, and inked a deal with South Korean EcoPro in 2021. 

It is expected that ioneer will provide enough lithium to PPES for making somewhere around 150,000 EVs annually.

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Anjali Mishra

Anjali Mishra

A postgraduate in Criminal Law, Anjali Mishra uses her analytical skills to understand and write about all things market. Anjali holds a keen interest in writing insightful articles on healthcare, business, finance, and emerging technologies for AlpenHornNews and numerous other portals. Coming from outside the economical milieu, Anjali aims to write in a way that helps readers with non-technical knowledge understand technical concepts with ease.