Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech announced on December 29 last year that construction has begun on its new lithium production complex in Yifeng County in China’s Jiangxi Province. The commencement of the project was part of a series of local industrial projects initiated in the fourth quarter of 2021. Scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2022, the complex is projected to output 50,000MT of battery-grade lithium carbonate and 7.5 million MT of lithium ores annually. This story was first reported by Chinese news outlets.
Yifeng County is within the jurisdiction of the prefecture-level city of Yichun. Gotion finished setting up another production line for lithium carbonate in the city’s economic development zone in November last year. This new production line is designed to have an annual production capacity of 20,000MT. Presently, it is estimated that Gotion will have added another 10,000MT of annual production capacity for lithium carbonate by April 2022.
An article posted by Chinese news outlet Global Daily in December last year noted that China’s lithium resources are mostly in the form of brine ponds. Also, a Reuters article published in 2010 said that Tibet, Sichuan, and Jiangxi have lithium reserves. However, Jiangxi’s lithium resources are mostly in the form of lepidolite and thus more costly to extract.
Gotion is among several Chinese battery manufacturers that have established operations in Jiangxi. In February 2021, Gotion and the government of Yichun signed a strategic agreement under which Gotion will be investing RMB 11.5 billion for the development of new energy technology projects in the local economic development zone. These projects include production lines for lithium carbonate and materials for battery components. The production capacity of the projects as a whole will be developed over two phases. The first phase began in the middle of 2021 and is scheduled for completion within two years. The second phase will align with Chinese government’s strategy on new energy technologies and push for the vertical integration of the local battery supply chain (i.e., the integration of lithium production with battery production). All of these projects should be completed within in a five-year period.
The company’s recent ramp-up efforts are probably connected to a deal with an undisclosed carmaker based in the US. Under a strategic supply and localization agreement signed in December last year, Gotion will be providing at least 200GWh of LFP batteries to the carmaker during the 2023-2028 period.