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HomeBusinessJapanese trading firms are looking abroad to diversify lithium offerings

Japanese trading firms are looking abroad to diversify lithium offerings

Major Japanese trading companies are increasing their investments in lithium mining projects abroad as the resource-constrained country seeks a stable supply of a mineral critical to the production of electric vehicle batteries.

Japan’s largest trading company, Mitsubishi Corp., said last month it would set up a new joint venture with Canada’s Frontier Lithium to develop a lithium mining project in Ontario province. The project is expected to last more than 20 years and produce around 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate each year – enough to produce batteries for around 300,000 electric vehicles.

Mitsubishi will acquire a 7.5% stake in the joint venture for 25 million Canadian dollars (¥2.8 billion) as part of its first-ever investment in a lithium mine. The financing will mainly be used to conduct the project’s feasibility study and prepare to obtain the necessary construction permits, the company said in a statement on March 5.

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