On July 17, Chinese battery maker Sunwoda announced that its Zhejiang subsidiary intends to acquire the Laguna Caro mining rights project held by Goldinka Energy S. A. in Argentina. In order to comply with Argentinian regulations, the subsidiary company identified Copelia Litio S. A, which was jointly established by Zhang Xiao and Li Tingwei in Argentina, as an agent company to purchase the mining rights project on its behalf.
Goldinka Energy S. A. is the third-largest lithium mining company in Argentina. The Laguna Caro lithium mine acquired by the Sunwoda subsidiary is located near the country’s Catamarca Province. Sunwoda announced that this move is to integrate and develop lithium resources in the Argentinian salt flats, forming complementary advantages between upstream and downstream realms of the new energy industry.
In addition, Sunwoda announced on July 5 that it had received an order notice from SAIC Maxus about its BEV project, and would supply it with power battery cell products. Sunwoda previously disclosed that it has obtained power battery orders for many new car models, such as SAIC-GM-Wuling and Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor, and it also carried out business cooperation with Renault-Nissan Alliance and Geely.
Since 2021, the price of lithium raw materials has been rising. Chinese enterprises have accelerated the acquisition of overseas lithium resources and capacity building. CATL and Ganfeng Lithium Industry bid for Millennium Lithium, and Tibet Summit Industry, an industrial engineering company, plans to invest in a 50,000-ton lithium carbonate salt flat lithium extraction project.
In June this year, it was also reported that BYD had founded six lithium mines in Africa, and all of them have reached acquisition intention.
On the other hand, according to the latest data from the China Passenger Car Association, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China was 24.3% from January to June this year, while that in 2018 was only 4.8%. In June, the retail sales of new energy passenger cars reached 532,000, and the domestic power battery installation capacity reached 27.0 GWh. The accelerated penetration of the new energy vehicle market and the growth of power battery shipments are both increasing.