Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) has inked a new five-year deal to supply Chinese lithium materials producer Shandong Ruifu with product from its namesake mine in Western Australia.

The new deal will see Altura deliver 35,000 tonnes each year of lithium concentrate, starting this month, to Shandong Ruifu, which produces lithium carbonate and hydroxide.

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Mined material is processed into lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide, which can be sold to make cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.

Batteries include an anode (positive) and a cathode (negative) and the electrical current flows between the two.

The contract has a floor price of $US550 ($789) per dry tonne and a ceiling of $US950 per dry tonne.

Altura indicated in its most recent presentation that its total life of mine cost for stage one was $428 per tonne.

The new offtake agreement will replace a prior deal with Shaanxi J&R Optimum Energy (JRO).

Altura wanted out of that deal because of JRO’s “well-publicised and long-running restructuring activities”.

“JRO also recently sold the last of its Altura shareholding to leading lithium battery materials supplier Ningbo Shanshan Co. Ltd, and we are continuing to progress our strategic relationship with our new major shareholder,” managing director James Brown told investors.

JRO agreed to terminate the existing offtake arrangements for the remaining 50,000 tonnes per annum allocation.

The first shipment of about 8,000 tonnes is scheduled to be delivered to Shandong Ruifu later this month.

In other ASX battery metals news today:

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) shares jumped over 14 per cent after  the explorer increased the Kathleen Valley resource in WA by 353 per cent. The resource now stands at 74.9 million tonnes at 1.3 per cent lithium, containing 2.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.

Major Chinese state-owned Jinan Hi-Tech will provide emerging graphite producer Triton Minerals (ASX:TON) a $2m loan. This will give the company working capital to cover it until shareholders and regulators approve a previously agreed $19.5m investment by Jinan.

Comet Resources (ASX:CRL) is undertaking an aerial electromagnetic survey at its Springdale project in WA after finding two high-grade zones of graphite mineralisation.