Australian lithium miner Liontown Resources has announced that it has signed a five-year agreement with Ford Motor, setting the stage for the development of its new project in Western Australia, according to foreign media reports.
Under the agreement, Liontown will supply up to 150,000 dry metric tons (DMT) per year of lithium pyroxene concentrate to Ford, with first commercial production expected in 2024. In addition, a Ford subsidiary will provide A$300 million ($207.2 million) in debt financing to help fund the entire process from development to initial production.
Lisa Drake, Ford’s vice president for electric vehicle industrialization, said the agreement will support Ford’s goal of producing more than 2 million electric vehicles per year by 2026.
Following the agreement with Ford, Liontown’s board of directors reportedly made the final investment decision to continue the project, with the expected capital cost increasing from A$473 million to A$545 million.
In addition to Ford, Liontown has previously entered into similar agreements with Tesla and LG Energy, and the company is currently offtaking up to 450,000 tonnes of lithium pyroxene concentrate per year, representing approximately 90% of start-up capacity.