Lithium processing company Green Lithium has agreed terms with Trafigura, one of the world’s largest commodities trading companies, that will support the development of one of the first centralised commercial lithium refineries in Europe. The new refinery will supply European electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturers with battery-grade lithium chemicals.
Under the newly-established relationship, Trafigura plans to supply lithium feedstock required for the planned UK-based refinery and invest equity in Green Lithium’s development phase funding round.
At present, it is forecast that the growing demand for battery-grade lithium chemicals will not be met by the global refining capacity currently available or planned. Increasing and diversifying supply will be vital for the commercial viability of the European battery supply chain and, therefore, the transition to electric vehicles and to net zero.
Green Lithium plans to be at the forefront of this transition. There is currently no commercial lithium refining capability in Europe, leaving the continent’s rapidly growing electric vehicle and sustainable energy storage sectors reliant on China for critical battery metals. In delivering its lithium refinery, Green Lithium expects to create the missing link and guarantee upstream supply chain security. Last year, Green Lithium secured a £631,000 grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre to support the development of Europe’s first large-scale lithium refinery, located in the north of England.
“The electric revolution is fundamental to reducing the carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change and ensuring net-zero targets can be met. Green Lithium’s refinery will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and sustainable energy storage through the increased supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals – a key component of lithium-ion batteries,” said Sean Sargent, Chief Executive Officer at Green Lithium.
“Fulfilling this vision requires the right supply chain and investment partners. In Trafigura, we have found the perfect match in a company that not only has vast experience and expertise in the battery supply chain, but that is also willing to make a key equity investment to support Green Lithium in achieving its project objectives.”
As an established participant in the international nickel and cobalt trading markets, Trafigura continues to invest significant resources to diversify and develop its business across other battery metal commodities, strengthening its position in the global battery and electric vehicle value chain. Given the importance lithium plays in the supply chain – and, more broadly, in the transition to a decarbonised, greener economy – an agreement with Green Lithium represents a milestone for Trafigura’s international battery metals business
“In addition to our core business in physical commodities trading and logistics, Trafigura has a strong track record of financing and investing in mining and metals projects globally,” said Socrates Economou, Head of Nickel and Cobalt Trading for Trafigura.
“This landmark project has the potential to revolutionise the European supply chain for EV production and sustainable energy storage at this critical time in the energy transition.”
Following its initial private funding round, securing over 5 times the target amount, Green Lithium is currently raising capital to fund its development phase activity.