■ MOU with Australian firm includes comprehensive cooperation in lithium supply, joint investment and development of downstream lithium assets
■ MOU to beef up SK On’s supply chain resilience in response to rapid business growth and geopolitical risks
SK On announced today it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Australia’s Global Lithium Resources to bolster its key battery materials supply chain.
The representatives from SK On and Global Lithium Resources signed the MOU in Perth, Australia on Sep 28. The two sides agreed to explore future business opportunities together in regard to stable supply of lithium, a critical raw material for EV battery.
Through this MOU, SK On would have potential investment, funding and offtake opportunities in Global Lithium Resources’ lithium assets.
SK On is one of the fastest-growing EV battery manufacturers in the industry. It ranked ninth in terms of global market share in 2019, but has shot up to fifth this year. The company currently operates seven factories in the United States, Hungary, China and South Korea and is currently in construction of seven more plants.
Incorporated in 2018, Global Lithium was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange last year. It is developing two flagship lithium assets, located in Western Australia, one of the world’s most famous mining jurisdictions, to produce lithium from spodumene mineral.
Lithium is a critical raw material used in lithium-ion batteries that enables them to charge faster and have more energy density than traditional batteries.
Australia is the world’s largest lithium producer and a major producer of other key battery minerals like nickel and cobalt.
SK On has been steadily reinforcing its supply chain on key battery materials to cope with geopolitical instability and expansion of its global production capacity. In addition to the partnership with Global Lithium Resources, the company is exploring various options to secure the supply of critical battery minerals in countries like Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
In June, SK On signed an MOU with South Korea’s POSCO Holdings to strengthen collaboration across the entire battery value chain, ranging from secondary battery raw materials to recycling. In 2019, SK On signed a supply agreement with Switzerland-based Glencore, the world’s largest supplier of cobalt, to secure cobalt for six years from 2020 to 2025.
Jinsuk Ryu, Vice President at SK On, said, “This MOU with Global Lithium will strategically support SKO’s global production and help explore potential business opportunities.” She added, “I believe that both parties will support each other to help accelerate the growth of business and cooperate further to explore potential opportunities in the EV supply chain.”
Ron Mitchell, Managing Director at Global Lithium, said, “I am extremely excited that Global Lithium has signed this MOU with Korea’s SK On, a leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for the automotive industry on a global scale. The scope of this partnership has the potential to strengthen and diversify the future of Global Lithium’s projects in Western Australia both in the near term and in the years ahead.
SK On Vice President Jinsuk Ryu (third from right) and Global Lithium Resources Managing Director Ron Mitchell (fourth from right) pose for a photo after signing a MOU in Perth, Australia, on September 28, 2022. (Photo provided by Global Lithium Resources)