POSCO inks MOU deal with Australia's Hancock to secure raw materials for EV batteries

Korea Joongang Daily, The Korea Times

Photo by: Posco Website

POSCO Holdings is collaborating with Australia’s Hancock Prospecting for key raw materials used for the production of electric vehicle batteries. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) earlier this week.

According to the Korea Joongang Daily, the signing ceremony was held in Australia when Choi Jeong Woo, POSCO Holding’s chairman, visited the country to check out the projects they have invested in. He was also in town to discuss business with prospect partners for raw materials, including Hancock.

Under the contract, the South Korean steelmaking company agreed to develop mines for raw materials with Hancock, such as nickel, lithium, and Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI). The first two mentioned materials are mainly used for EV batteries, while the HBI is a processed product that is made by taking out oxygen from iron ore into a Briquette shape.

“Posco Group and Hancock Prospecting have been cooperating since 2010 and expanding our partnership every year. We successfully developed the Roy Hill mine development project recently and acquired Senex Energy together,” The Korea Times quoted Choi as saying in a statement. “Our two companies can create bigger synergy if they work together in the business for secondary battery materials, as Posco has the value chain to develop secondary battery materials for production of cathodes and anodes, while Hancock has excellent experience and capability in mining.”

It was on Monday this week when Choi met up with Hancock Prospecting’s chairwoman, Gine Rinehart, for the finalization and signing of the MOU. It was revealed that the POSCO Holding’s chairman also held a meeting with the head of Pilbara Minerals to request for additional supply of lithium raw material concentrate. He also discussed similar business opportunities with First Quantum Minerals and Ravensthorpe Nickel Operation.

Finally, POSCO has already invested more than KRW4 trillion or around $3.09 billion in Australia for businesses related to the development of raw materials. The terms for its latest deal with Hancock Prospecting were not mentioned but are most probably worth millions of dollars as well. The Korean firm is expected to close more deals with Aussie companies for raw material supplies.

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