Alkemy Capital Investments Plc (ALK:LSE) is a London-based holding company which acts as an incubator for companies specialising in the critical minerals and energy transition sectors.
Through its two wholly owned subsidiaries, Tees Valley Lithium Ltd (TVL) and Port Hedland Lithium Pty Ltd (PHL), Alkemy plans to produce a high value, low carbon intermediate product in Australia and processing this into a premium battery grade product in Europe for sale to Tier 1 customers.
Creating a new solution to low-carbon battery metals refining, linking the world’s largest producers with the fastest growing EV market.
The global race towards Net Zero has driven unprecedented demand for the rollout of Electric Vehicles.
In response to the burgeoning demand, hard rock miners in Australia and brine producers in South America have rapidly emerged as the world’s biggest producers, capturing 55% and 40% of global production respectively.
Australian hard rock miners produce lithium in the form of spodumene concentrate typically consisting of around 5-6% Lithium of which over 80% of the concentrate is shipped to China for refining into Lithium Hydroxide or Lithium Carbonate to supply the EV battery industry.
Alkemy is addressing this problem of digging and shipping a low value, high carbon product to China by creating an alternative, low-carbon lithium refining solution, allowing for supply chain transparency and a much-needed lithium refining option outside of China.
At Port Hedland in Western Australia, the world’s biggest port by volume, Alkemy subsidiary PHL is developing a standalone lithium sulphate refinery at the Boodarie Strategic Industrial Area located just south the new Lumsden Point Critical Minerals Wharf.
Powered by local renewable energy, each of the proposed two trains at PHL will refine approximately 180,000 tpa of local mined spodumene concentrate to around 40,000tpa lithium sulphate before exporting to TVL for further refining, dramatically reducing the amount of waste impact on the lithium supply chain.
At the Teesside Freeport in the north-east of the UK, Tees Valley Lithium Ltd is establishing Europe’s largest low-carbon lithium hydroxide refining facility. Each of the four-train facility will take feedstock in the form of lithium sulphate or crude carbonate, to produce 24,000tpa of battery-grade lithium hydroxide (or carbonate equivalent) feeding directly to the European and international battery cell manufacturers.
The first train will be the conventional process route however the plans are to utilise 100% certified green energy from direct wire offshore wind, an electrochemical processing route and creating circular solutions for waste, TVL will revolutionize the way lithium is refined.
TVL also uniquely provides conversion services to technical grade carbonate from South American brine producers looking to access the
Recently, Europe and the US have introduced new regulations which require transparent and low-carbon end-to-end supply chain. The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism will come in to affect in Europe by 2026 and will tax any imported goods that do not meet low carbon requirements.
Similarly the US Inflation Reduction Act now in effect, adds restrictions on any unsustainable products coming into the country.
With PHL and TVL’s innovative low-carbon processing strategy, both companies will meet the low-carbon requirements for Europe and under the Atlantic Declaration will also allow direct-access to the US market.
Alkemy’s strategy is different - PHL and TVL will significantly reduce the carbon impact of the lithium supply chain by splitting the circuit, and will give Australian and South American lithium producers direct access to the burgeoning European market.
Key stats for PHL and TVL:
- Alkemy Capital Investments publicly listed (ALK:LSE) (JV2:FRA)
- Two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Port Hedland Lithium Pty Ltd, Tees Valley Lithium Ltd
- 720,000tpa SC6 -> 164,000tpa Li2SO4 -> 96,000tpa LiOH
- £600million CAPEX across both facilities
- Four trains, first train traditional route, three trains electrochemical route
- Supplying 15% of European demand = 2 million EV’s
- Both plants powered by renewable energy (Wind, Solar, Battery)
- Both plants creating circular waste solution by on-selling by-product
- Both plants meet low-carbon requirements for on-selling in to the EU and US market
- TVL will be in production by 2026