QUEBEC CITY—Nemaska Lithium Inc. has signed of a memorandum of understanding with Johnson Matthey Battery Materials Ltd., which includes an upfront payment of $12 million to the Quebec firm in exchange for services and products from the company’s planned hydrometallurgy plants that will be located in Shawinigan, Que.
“We are very pleased to have entered into this strategic agreement with JMBM, a leading supplier of lithium iron phosphate cathode materials for automotive and non-automotive applications,” Guy Bourassa, president and CEO of Nemaska Lithium, said. “We are confident in our ability to deliver very pure lithium salts from the Phase 1 Plant and in our ability to subsequently become a long term supplier to JMBM.”
Pointing to the expanding market for lithium as the battery market continues to expand, Nemaska said analysts and industry experts are predicting a “coming shortage.”
Along with the initial agreement, which remains subject to final due diligence by JMBM, the MOU also includes contract provisions for a potential long term supply agreement for lithium salts between the two companies.
The deal boosts Nemaska’s financing of its planned hydrometallurgy plant in Shawinigan. The company said it expects to be ready to begin construction when financing closes early next year. The planned plant will have a capacity of 500 tonnes per year of high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.