Putting the 4680 cells to work on prototypes is just part of the challenge Tesla faces to carry on its plans of producing batteries itself. The company also has to make sure manufacturing will go on as planned, which implies ensuring its access to raw materials. It is on the way to do that, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. According to the consultancy, Tesla will have a lithium hydroxide refinery at Giga Austin.
What this facility will do will be the transformation of spodumene into lithium hydroxide, the element battery manufacturers need to produce their cells. At least part of that spodumene will come from Piedmont Lithium. Check what Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, tweeted about that:
Official release of Piedmont / Tesla lithium deal including confirmation it utilised @benchmarkmin lithium price data and forecast tonnages. Of which no change since last week. pic.twitter.com/N2zN6aViOf— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) September 28, 2020