Ford strikes lithium deals as ‘near-shoring’ trend benefits Canadian miners – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – May 24, 2023)

Quebec’s nascent lithium mining industry has won a vote of confidence from Ford Motor Co., with the automaker signing an 11-year contract with Nemaska Lithium for future production from two planned facilities in the province.

Ford announced long-term supply agreements with Nemaska and four other lithium miners Monday at an investor conference, part of a strategy to dramatically increase electric-vehicle production over the next three years.

In a report, Scotiabank analyst Ben Isaacson said Ford is the latest automaker to “near-shore” its supply of critical minerals for EV batteries to ensure its operations are compliant with the U.S. government’s recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act, which offers subsidies for clean-energy investments.

Along with Nemaska, which is co-owned by Philadelphia-based Livent Corp. and provincial government agency Investissement Québec, Ford signed contracts with three U.S. mining companies – Albemarle Corp., Compass Minerals International Inc. and EnergySource Minerals – and Sociedad Quimica y Minera De Chile SA. Albemarle and Compass struck five-year supply agreements.

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