Sumitomo Metal to boost lithium production for Tesla vehicles

Nickel-Lithium Battery

TOKYO — Sumitomo Metal Mining will expand production of lithium nickel oxide used in batteries for Tesla’s electric vehicles as part of its plan to strengthen a materials operation that it increasingly sees as a stable source of profit.

The company aims to boost pretax profit of its materials operation — the division dealing with raw materials for electric car batteries — to nearly 20 billion yen ($160 million) for fiscal 2018, up 54% from the current fiscal year. It plans to increase output capacity of lithium nickel oxide to 1,850 tons a month by the end of 2015, more than double the current level.

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