PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The share prices of Australian lithium companies surged on Friday on news that the South Australian government reached an agreement with US energy major Tesla to build the world’s largest lithium battery in the state.
The South Australian government has taken Tesla CEO Elon Musk at his word that the company could deliver the battery within 100 days, or it would be free, saying that the starting day for the 100-day deadline will be decided once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.
The 100 MW/129 MWh battery will be paired with a wind farm that will be installed before summer, Premier Jay Weatherill said.
“South Australia has been leading the nation in renewable energy – now we are leading the world in battery storage,” Weatherill said.
“Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space. This historic agreement does more than bring a sustainable energy giant in Telsa to South Australia, it will also have some significant economic spin-offs.”
Tesla said that upon completion by December 2017, the battery system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30 000 homes.
The share price of Australian lithium companies Altura Mining, Pilbara Minerals and Neometals all rose by more than 3%, while the share price of Galaxy Resources and Orocobre rose by more than 2% each during trading on Friday.
The share price of Lithium Australia rose by 42.86% at the end of trading on Friday, after the company announced that it will start drilling at its Ravensthorpe lithium project, in Western Australia, by next week.