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Australia's Liontown signs supply deal with S.Korea's LG Chem, shares jump

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The logo of LG Chem is seen at its office building in Seoul
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(Reuters) - Australian lithium miner Liontown Resources Ltd said on Wednesday it signed a deal to sell lithium spodumene from its flagship project to the battery unit of South Korea's LG Chem, sending its shares soaring 13%.

LG Energy Solution, which counts Tesla Inc and General Motors Co as its customers, will buy 100,000 dry metric tonnes (DMT) of lithium spodumene — a key raw material for making electric vehicle batteries — from Liontown's Kathleen Valley project.

Liontown joins other lithium players in the country, like Vulcan Energy, to strike major supply deals with EV makers as the sector assumes centre stage amid a global push by companies and governments towards a greener future.

The company also said the deal — a first for its Western Australia-based project — will account for nearly 30% of its annual output after year one of production and is expected to be operating from 2024.

Liontown added that it had received "strong interest from a range of parties in long-term offtake from the Kathleen Valley Lithium Project," without offering details.

Its shares witnessed their biggest jump since October 2021 on Wednesday, building on a nearly 5-fold rise in the past year.

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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