Tesla supplier Piedmont Lithium will join the US Nasdaq exchange
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ASX battery minerals company Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL), whose operations are based in the US state of North Carolina, is to list on the US Nasdaq exchange.
The company will retain its listing on the ASX, providing Australian investors and shareholders with a link to the supplier of spodumene concentrate to Elon Musk’s EV company Tesla.
“Recent activity in the US battery materials equity markets validates our efforts to re-domicile Piedmont, and we look forward to completing the work moving our primary listing to Nasdaq, while maintaining a secondary Australian listing,” said president and chief executive, Keith Phillips.
Piedmont Lithium’s share price soared from 10c per share in September after it was chosen by Tesla to supply the EV maker with spodumene concentrate for lithium-ion batteries produced at its Gigafactory in the US.
A definitive feasibility study has been commissioned by the company for an initial 160,000 tonnes per year spodumene concentrate plant in North Carolina and the study is due for completion in mid-2021.
“It is an exciting time for the battery materials industry in North America. Our North Carolina location places us in an ideal position to play a pivotal role in helping power North America’s electric vehicle and clean energy storage revolutions,” said Phillips.
Under a five-year agreement, Piedmont Lithium will supply one-third of its 160,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate production to Tesla, but this quantity could grow in the future.
“I think it’s fair to say that the biggest takeaway from Battery Day with respect to lithium, and I was at Battery Day last week, is that Tesla is basically internally forecasting massive — massive is the only word that works — requirements for lithium for themselves,” Phillips told Stockhead at the time of Tesla’s Battery Day event in September.
Piedmont Lithium has capitalised effectively on its competitive advantage of having the only current spodumene project in the US. Production starts for its US lithium plant in 2022.
US-based EV and battery storage companies are reported to be looking for local raw materials suppliers, in part to ensure supply chain security and reliability.
Former US president Donald Trump signed an executive order in October designed to boost home grown production of critical minerals such as lithium and other battery metals.
The US imports 80 per cent of its rare earth elements from one country — China, the order said.
Piedmont Lithium is to accelerate the development of Canada-focused Sayona Mining’s (ASX:SYA) lithium projects after taking a 19.9 per cent stake in the ASX company, and a 25 per cent stake in Sayona’s Quebec subsidiary.
“Quebec is destined to become one of the world’s major lithium hydroxide production centres given its abundant mineral resources, low cost, sustainable hydroelectric power, proximity to major US and European EV markets, and pro-electricification stance of provincial leaders,” said Phillips commenting on the acquisition.
Meanwhile, ASX battery metals and recycling company Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) is expecting a significant increase in battery recycling volumes in the next few years.
The company’s Envirosteam Australia business unit, a leader in battery recycling, is forecasting the large increase under the National Battery Stewardship Scheme.
Another company subsidiary, VSPC, has forecast a five-fold increase in the lithium ferro phosphate battery market by 2030.
Lithium Australia has a range of proprietary technologies for recycling and recovering energy metals from spent lithium-ion batteries and waste materials.