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The POSCO, Pilbara Minerals joint venture has opened a new lithium hydroxide facility in South Korea.

Located in Gwangyang, Train 1 of the lithium hydroxide monohydrate chemical facility was officially opened by an event attended by the Pilbara Minerals board and the chair of POSCO.

“Pilbara Minerals began discussions with POSCO about this chemical facility in 2018 and so today is a momentous occasion for both parties as we progress our strategy of diversifying into the downstream value chain,” Pilbara Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Dale Henderson said.

“Together we look forward to becoming a meaningful producer of lithium hydroxide, supporting the world’s transition to a more sustainable energy future.

“I would like to thank our partner POSCO Holdings, particularly chairman Choi, for their support and commitment to date. The strong bond and bilateral relationship between Australia and South Korea continues to be strengthened through partnerships like ours.”

The facility is owned and operated by the joint venture, with POSCO owning 82 per cent and Pilbara Minerals owning the remaining 18 per cent.

Pilbara Minerals also has the option to increase its equity interest to 30 per cent at any time up to 18 months after the ramp up of the chemical facility.

Train 1 of the facility is designed to produce 21.5 thousand tonnes per annum of lithium hydroxide when at nameplate capacity.