Australia’s Lake Resources to supply lithium to South Korean battery maker

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Oct 12 (Reuters) – Australian Lake Resources (LKE.AX) announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement 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 (096770.KS), will acquire a 10% stake in New South Wales-based lithium developer Lake Resources as part of the deal. SK Innovation is part of the second South Korean conglomerate SK Group.

Auto and battery makers have signed deals with Australian miners to supply lithium, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, as part of a global push for cleaner energy sources.

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 companies like Ford Motor Co (FN) and Hyundai Motor Co. (005380.KS), is on track to break even in the fourth quarter, thanks to improving market conditions. Read more

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

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

Reporting by Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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