A month ago, also acquired exploration rights in Yifeng county, Jiangxi province, where Gotion was awarded the rights.

Securing lithium supplies is critical for power cell giants, and Volkswagen-backed Gotion High-tech (SHE: 002074) has become the latest to do so.

A Gotion affiliate won the exploration rights to a lithium mine in Yifeng county, Yichun city, in east China's Jiangxi province, in bidding on May 20 for 460 million yuan ($68.7 million), according to a statement released today.

Located about 30 kilometers on a 45° bearing in Yifeng county, the prospect acquired by the company covers an area of 0.26 square kilometers and has a porcelain ore resource of 55,570,600 tons and an associated lithium metal oxide volume of 181,750,000 tons, according to Gotion.

(Image credit: Gotion High-tech)

This is the second exploration right Gotion has acquired in Jiangxi, and its latest move to increase its investment in the province.

In February last year, Gotion signed a contract with the Yichun municipal government to establish a subsidiary in Yichun.

Gotion is currently building a lithium battery plant in Yichun, as well as lithium carbonate processing plants, which are expected to achieve a total annual production capacity of 120,000 tons of lithium carbonate by 2025, according to the company.

The acquisition of new exploration rights will help stabilize the company's lithium carbonate supply, reduce procurement costs and strengthen its market position in the power lithium battery industry, Gotion said.

An exploration right is the right to explore a mineral resource, which allows a company to conduct exploration operations in a defined area and have priority access to the mineral resource for mining.

A month ago, China's largest power battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL, SHE: 300750) was also granted exploration rights in the same Yifeng county.

On April 20, a CATL subsidiary acquired the exploration rights for RMB 865 million for the mine, located approximately 40 kilometers off a 21° bearing in Yifeng county, with a prospecting area of 6.44 square kilometers.

The inferred porcelainite ore resource is 960 million tons, with 2.66 million tons of associated lithium metal oxide, according to CATL.

In April, China's power battery loading was 13.3 GWh, up 58.1 percent year-on-year, but down 38.0 percent from March, according to data released by the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance (CABIA) on May 11.

CATL's installed base in April was 5.08 GWh, with a 38.3 percent market share, still ranking first, but down 12.2 percentage points from March's 50.5 percent.

Gotion ranked fourth with 0.7 GWh installed in April and a market share of 5.31 percent.

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