Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) said on Wednesday it would cut jobs and defer spending on projects, including a massive refinery project in South Carolina, as part of a wide-ranging plan to slash costs in light of falling lithium prices. The world’s top producer of the battery metal said it plans to spend $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion in 2024, down from about $2.1 billion it invested last year.
“The actions we are taking allow us to advance near-term growth and preserve future opportunities as we navigate the dynamics of our key end-markets,” chief executive Kent Masters said in the statement. “The long-term fundamentals for our business are strong and we remain committed to operating in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The US-based lithium producer noted it would finish the commissioning of several lithium refineries in China and Australia, which are almost fully built. The company also said it would focused on securing the necessary permits to reopen its Kings Mountain lithium mine in North Carolina.
The asset contains one of the few known hard rock lithium deposits in the US. According to Albemarle, the operation would feed sufficient material for 50 kt LCE of conversion capacity and support the manufacturing about 1.2 million electric vehicles a year initially.
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