Piedmont Lithium Soars After Tesla Metal Supply Deal

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Piedmont Lithium surged more than fourfold on Monday after the company resumed trading, following a deal to supply Tesla Inc. with a lithium raw material.

Piedmont said last week it will supply the automaker with spodumene concentrate from its operations in North Carolina. Its shares, halted since Sept. 17, resumed Monday and immediately soared. The Australian company’s American depositary receipts jumped from $11 to as high as $54.50, before easing back to $45.45 as of 12:59 p.m. in New York, for a 313% gain.

Lithium is a key ingredient in the making of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles. Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk stressed the need to secure raw materials as the EV giant ramps up battery production on its Battery Day event.

“Nothing replaces lithium in our lifetime where mobility is required,” Andrew Bowering, a director at American Lithium Corp., said last week. “New battery configurations by Tesla and others are all going to be based on lithium-ion for years to come.”

The supply pact is for an initial five-year term and may be extended for a second five-year period, the company said. It covers a commitment representing about one-third of Piedmont’s planned spodumene concentrate production of 160,000 tons per year for the initial term.

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