Chinese Tianqi Lithium is profiting from the surging demand for lithium chemicals mostly used in the high-tech industry and alternative energy sector, including alternative energy vehicles (AEV). The executive board is furthermore predicting a continuous development of the AEV industry and is preparing for the demand with several new investments in different lithium chemicals segments.
In addition, Tianqi Lithium is also investing in a new research institute, dedicated to transforming from a simple mining and processing company to a technology and innovation-driven one.
Investment in Lithium Carbonate
China’s leading lithium mining company has revealed in early December to invest in a new lithium carbonate production project. The planned factory will be able to process 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate each year, strengthening the worldwide market position in lithium products.
What’s more, China’s largest Lithium mining company has also recently announced to double the production of its lithium hydroxide products by an investment of about USD300 million into its plant in Kwinana, Australia.
The construction of Kwinana’s plant, worth USD400 million, began in October 2016. The announced expansion will double the plant’s production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide to 48,000 tonnes a year. The investments are part of a development boom aimed at capturing demand for lithium from the electric vehicle and power storage industries.
After all, Tianqi owns 51% of the world's largest hard rock lithium mine, Greenbushes, and is building a USD400 million plant in Kwinana to convert the spodumene mined at Greenbushes into a battery-grade lithium chemical.
However, market intelligence firm CCM contends that in the short time, the growth pace of the new energy vehicle market may not reach the expectation due to the decrease of the subsidies in downstream industries, thus capacity expanded may increase the storage pressure of Li-ion batteries.
Investment in H3LiO2
Furthermore, Tianqi Lithium announced a plan to invest USD250 million of its self-owned funds in the 2nd-phase 24,000 t/a battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (H3LiO2) project. The project is expected to be completed and put into trial operation at the end of 2019.
About the company
Tianqi Lithium is headquartered in Chengdu, China, where it has a leading position in the global lithium minerals as well as lithium chemicals markets.
The enterprise is a leading global supplier of lithium products, with major businesses including lithium resource development and exploitation, downstream production processing and trade. It has established global presences in China, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile, supplying customers across Europe, Asia, the Americas and South-East Asia.
In the first months of 2017, Tianqi Lithium has shown a net profit surge of almost 50% compared to same period in previous year. This result lifts the company to the second rank of best performing lithium-ion battery enterprises just behind BYD.
As for the performance in 2016, the company stated a sales increase by more than 100% and a net profit boost of over 500% in its financial report.
CCM is China’s leading market intelligence provider for the fields of agriculture, chemicals, and food & feed.
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