An Australian mining company could play a pivotal role in supplying lithium for the next generation on US electric cars.

US automotive giant Ford could soon use lithium in its electric car batteries sourced from an Australian mining company – albeit extracted from a pit in Argentina.

Lithium is a soft alkali metal extracted from compounds in the earth, and primarily used in modern high-density battery cells.

Lake Resources – a publicly owned mining company based in Sydney – recently announced a memorandum of understanding with Ford to supply the element for EV batteries.

The firm currently operates a large mine in Argentina’s Catamarca Province (shown below), and it is from here that the material would be sourced.  

While yet to be finalised, the agreement could see “up to” 25,000 tonnes of lithium shipped to the USA every year for the next generation of Ford electric cars.

“As we’ve shared, Ford is sourcing deeper into the battery supply chain,” Ford’s Vice President Lisa Drake said.

“This is one of several agreements we’re exploring to help us secure raw materials to support our aggressive EV acceleration.”

While Ford’s supply would initially be sourced entirely from Argentina, Australia has some of the world’s largest domestic lithium deposits.

An estimated 2.7 million tons of lithium is believed to be located on our continent according to Volkswagen, placing Australia behind only Chile (8.0 million).

“Imagine an Australia where lithium is mined in Ravensthorpe; it’s refined in Kwinana; used to manufacture battery cells in Rockhampton; which are installed in a bus built in Moss Vale,” Ms Denholm said.

“The bus is recharged with equipment built and designed in Brisbane, powered by Australian solar energy … most of those things are already happening.”

William Davis

William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy. As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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