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China Battery Giant CATL Wins Lithium Project in Race for Materials

  • CATL gains exploration rights with successful $135 million bid
  • Tesla CEO Musk urges more lithium production to meet EV demand
Vehicle batteries at the CATL headquarters in Fujian Province.

Vehicle batteries at the CATL headquarters in Fujian Province.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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Key Tesla Inc. battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. has won exploration rights to a lithium clay deposit in China, as surging demand for electric cars fuels a race to secure supplies of raw materials. 

CATL, as the company is better known, bid 865 million yuan ($135 million) for the exploration rights to the deposit, which is estimated to contain about 2.66 million tons of associated lithium metal oxide, it said in a statement Thursday.