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Singapore's Alliance Minerals reframes lithium supply deal, looks for new partners

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MELBOURNE, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Alliance Mineral Assets on Tuesday said it had restructured an agreement to supply lithium to a China-based chemicals maker instead of a Hong Kong trading house.

The Singapore-based company bought out its partner Tawana Resources late last year to streamline operations at the Bald Hill lithium mine in Western Australia.

Under the new structure, previous customer Hong Kong's Burwill Holdings has agreed to transfer its purchasing rights to chemicals maker Jiangxi Bao Jiang Lithium Industrial Ltd, in which it has a 50-percent stake with Jiangte Special Electric Motor Co.

Jiangte is increasing its lithium concentrate conversion capacity as it moves towards becoming a significant player in the downstream processing market in China, Alliance said.

Lithium can be used to produce batteries for electric vehicles, with demand expected to surge in coming years.

Exclusivity has been removed from the supply agreement which will allow Alliance to diversify its customer base, it said, as it seeks new customers to buy into future production.

It has raised its production guidance for the first-half of 2019 to between 65,000-80,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of lithium concentrate, from 55,000-60,000 dmt produced in the second-half of 2018.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton Editing by Joseph Radford)

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