Australia's Lake Resources to supply lithium to S. Korean battery maker




(Reuters) - Australia's Lake Resources said on Wednesday it had signed a deal with South Korean battery maker SK On Co Ltd to supply lithium from its flagship Kachi project in Argentina.

SK On, a unit of SK Innovation, will acquire a 10 per cent stake in New South Wales-based lithium developer Lake Resources as part of the agreement. SK Innovation is a part of South Korea's second-largest conglomerate SK Group. Automobile and battery makers have been signing deals with Australian miners for supply of lithium, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, amid a global push towards cleaner sources of energy.

Lake Resources said it would supply 25,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium to SK On under the five-year deal, which could be extended for another five years.

SK, which supplies batteries to the likes of Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co, is on track to break even in the fourth quarter, aided by improved market conditions.

The agreement allows SK On to secure a stable lithium supplier for its U.S. supply chain, said Jinsuk Ryu, SK On's vice president.

Last month, Lake Resources said operations at its Kachi project were proceeding, after a dispute with Bill Gates-backed Lilac Solutions over certain performance milestones to get a 25 per cent stake in the project.

Source: Reuters