Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to facilitate robust demand projections for lithium chemicals. The rapidly evolving market for EV lithium-ion batteries increasingly requires nickel rich, lithium hydroxide-based cathodes as greater energy densities and therefore driving ranges are brought to market. Battery grade lithium hydroxide has greater demand forecasts when compared to lithium carbonate due largely to the changing cathodes dynamic, whilst additionally enjoying a significant pricing premium.
Lithium hydroxide is increasingly produced from hard rock. It involves a straight conversion process as opposed to brine sources, which first need to produce carbonate and then convert it to hydroxide. Very few companies are both mining from hard rock and converting it into battery grade lithium chemicals, giving the San Jose Project an advantage as a fully integrated process.
With readily available infrastructure including a major gas pipeline adjacent to the project area, San Jose is able to deliver battery grade lithium hydroxide at an average LOM operating cost of US$5,343/t. This places San Jose at the lower end of the lithium hydroxide cost curve.
San Jose provides significant benefits for the region and people of Extremadura including:
- Large (+200) number of full-time jobs and a greater number (~1000) of supporting development roles for decades;
- Significant VAT revenues retained within Extremadura;
- Substantial Federal corporate taxes for Spain;
- Cornerstone value add industry of the future.