Car giant Stellantis buys shares in Australian miners as lithium costs skyrocket

Stellantis (14 manufacturers including Jeep, Maserati and Chrysler), the world’s fifth-largest car maker, will be the second largest shareholder of Australian lithium mining company Balkan Energy Resources.

To promote the ongoing sales of electric vehicles, automakers will pay $ 76 million ($ 52.45 million) to acquire an 8% stake in Balkan.

This move occurs when electric vehicle manufacturers are looking for ways to secure an upstream supply chain amid rising lithium prices. Lithium hydroxide is essential in the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles.

Vulcan plans to use geothermal energy to produce lithium hydroxide from the brine fields of the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany. As a result, the “Net Zero Carbon Footprint” will remain.

Last year, Vulcan and Stellantis signed a five-year contract to supply a minimum of 81,000 metric tons and a maximum of 99,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide. This contract is currently extended until 2036.

Stellantis logo
Stellantis signed on January 19, 2021 outside the Chrysler Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Mississippi. (CarlosOsorio / AP photo)

Francis Wedin, managing director of Vulcan, said the investment from Stellantis is a “strong statement” by one of the world’s largest automakers.

“We are in perfect agreement with Stellantis’ decarbonization and electrification goals, which represent some of the industry’s most ambitious,” he said in a statement on June 24. For electric vehicles. “

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said: “We continue our quest to form strong relationships with partners who share our values.”

Formed by the 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, Stellantis is Abalt, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, DS Automobile, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Lamb, Voxor, Free2move. , And Resis.

Climate change policy boosts demand for lithium

The company is one of the most important electrification projects among the world’s automakers and plans to turn 100% of its passenger car sales in Europe into electric vehicles by 2030.

The company is currently Market leader Low-emission passenger car sales in countries such as Italy (35.7%), France (30.3%), Spain (21.8%) and Poland (14.9%).

As climate change began in developed countries, the demand for lithium hydroxide surged as governments and businesses promoted greater electrification of automotive networks, as well as larger battery storage to support the power grid.

As a result, the price of minerals has risen from $ 17,000 per metric ton in 2021 to $ 78,032 per metric ton in 2022.

In response, Tesla founder Elon Musk said his company could even be involved in lithium mining and mining to reduce costs.

“Lithium prices have risen to extraordinary levels! Tesla may actually need to undertake large-scale direct mining and refining, unless costs improve,” he said. I wrote in a Twitter post During April. “Lithium is almost everywhere on earth, so there is no shortage of elements themselves, but the pace of extraction / purification is slow.”

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected]

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