Chinese automaker BYD plans to buy six lithium mines in Africa and is close to reaching a deal with respective parties, Chinese media outlet The Paper reported on Tuesday. Sources told The Paper that BYD estimates the mines will produce about 1 million tons of lithium carbonate, a key material for making electric vehicle batteries. The deals would give BYD enough raw material to build at least 27.78 million electric vehicles, a production yield that can satisfy demands for the automaker for the next ten years. The cost of battery-grade lithium carbonate has increased more than fourfold in the past year, according to the Lithium Price Index from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. [The Paper, in Chinese]