(Reuters) - Lithium Australia NL (LIT.AX) said on Tuesday it had signed a deal with Chinese joint venture partner DLG Battery Co Ltd, to sell a range of lithium-ion batteries in the domestic market, sending its shares to a more than two-week high.
Under the deal, the parties will form a new joint marketing division, Soluna Australia Pty Ltd, to supply and service a range of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and lithium-ion batteries with a focus on industry-scale energy storage systems.
The company’s shares rose as much as 10% to their highest since July 15, following the announcement.
Lithium Australia is the country’s latest lithium miner to form a partnership with a Chinese battery maker, but the first to target the domestic batteries market.
Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar panels per person in the world, which has attracted global battery makers into the country as households look to cut down on energy prices.
Lithium Australia said it plans to supply DLG, with whom it formed a joint-venture in May, with LFP cathode powders manufactured by its unit VSPC Ltd for use in DLG batteries.
Of late, several Chinese firms have signed contracts with Australian companies for lithium supply, although demand for the key battery-manufacturing component has come under pressure after China cut subsidies for some electric vehicles.
Australian lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd (PLS.AX) earlier this month said it had signed an additional deal with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co Ltd (601633.SS) (2333.HK) to supply lithium concentrate.
Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta