#India’s #Tata Group signs $1.6 billion EV battery plant deal

June 2, 202310:48 AM EDTUpdated 2 days ago

A Tata Motors logo is pictured outside the company showroom in Mumbai

AHMEDABAD, June 2 (Reuters) – India’s Tata Group signed an outline deal on Friday on building a lithium-ion cell factory, based on investment of about 130 billion rupees ($1.58 billion), as part of the nation’s efforts to create its own electric vehicle supply chain.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/indias-tata-group-signs-16-bln-ev-battery-plant-deal-2023-06-02/

#SaudiArabia expands #Lithium processing to supply #BMW

Saudi Arabia is planning a second lithium processing facility, as it steps up efforts to work with western partners to develop its battery supply chain. The facility, which will use feedstock mined in Austria to produce refined lithium hydroxide for BMW, is a sign of how supply chains to process the metal are slowly developing outside China.

Read more at: https://www.ft.com/content/89b26197-87e9-4aa6-adde-797131af3d8a

#Canada, #Quebec to provide about C$300 mln for #GM-#POSCO battery materials facility

OTTAWA, May 29 (Reuters) – Canada’s federal government and the Quebec province will each provide about C$150 million ($112 million) for a General Motors-POSCO Chemical battery materials facility that is expected create about 200 jobs in the country, the Canadian industry ministry said on Monday.

The U.S. carmaker and South Korea’s POSCO outlined their plan last year to build the facility in Becancour, Quebec, to produce cathode active material (CAM) for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/canada-quebec-provide-about-c300-mln-gm-posco-battery-materials-facility-2023-05-29/

#Australia Sees ‘Enormous Market’ for Its Battery Metals in #US.

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden’s signature climate policy is helping drive a “golden age of mineral exploration” in Australia, as the US rushes to catch up with China on clean energy technologies, the Australian trade minister said.

Deals between Australian miners and US carmakers had already spurred increased investment in exploration and refining of battery metals, and the Inflation Reduction Act is accelerating that, Trade Minister Don Farrell said in an interview while visiting Detroit over the weekend.

The IRA pledges almost $400 billion in incentives and tax credits on clean technologies from electric vehicles to hydrogen manufacturing. Credits on EVs are only granted if a large portion of the minerals they use are extracted or processed either in the US or a country with a US free trade agreement. “That’s Australia,” said Farrell.

Read more at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/australia-sees-enormous-market-battery-030205091.html

#Tesla: This is the future of sustainability

In 2022, the Tesla community avoided emitting approximately 13.4 million metric tons of CO2e into the Earth’s atmosphere—that’s equal to over 33 billion miles of pollution from driving an ICE vehicle.

Emerging #Lithium supplier #Argentina says it’s close to #US deal under IRA

The world’s fastest-growing lithium producer says it could soon gain access to the US market.

Argentina has been lobbying to get in on President Joe Biden’s electric-vehicle drive. Landmark climate legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act, features tax credits for vehicles that have a portion of their battery metals sourced in the US or a free-trade-agreement country. Australia and Chile, the top two lithium suppliers, have FTAs with the US. Argentina doesn’t.

Officials in Buenos Aires have been working on the issue with US diplomats and believe they are close to getting Argentina an exemption, Fernanda Avila, the federal mining undersecretary, and Franco Mignacco, president of top industry group Caem, said Tuesday on the sidelines of an event in the Argentine capital.

Argentina’s push comes amid a global tug of war for key EV minerals between the US and China.

The country’s only two producers as of now, Livent Corp. and Allkem Ltd., are set to merge to become the world’s third-biggest lithium company focused on supplying the US.

Rare earth deal with #US a magnet for #Australia’s refineries

The US and Australia announced on Saturday at the G7 meeting in Japan that they would partner to manage vulnerable critical mineral supply chains, with President Joe Biden saying he would ask Congress to define Australia as a domestic source for materials critical to defence and clean energy.

The Biden administration’s big-ticket funding package in the US – the $US369 billion ($584 billion) Inflation Reduction Act – is supercharging its clean energy economy and corralling the critical minerals needed to power its energy transition.

Governments and businesses around the world are scrambling to follow suit, but a deal between the US and Australia will rapidly expand mineral supplies to the US, potentially create more local refining capacity, and eventually underpin production of magnets and batteries in Australia.

Read more at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/rare-earth-deal-with-us-a-magnet-for-australia-s-refineries-20230522-p5dab3.html

Biden must embrace domestic mining. #MAMA

Americans are starting to see the results of the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. Federal projects are upgrading America’s transit systems and power grids, including a proliferation of electric vehicles and charging stations. However, there’s a catch. All of these renewable technologies have spurred massive demand for key minerals and metals. But global supplies of these resources are dominated by the United States’ rivals.

The International Energy Agency estimates that demand for key minerals — such as lithium, cobalt and nickel — will grow 4,000% by 2040. However, the U.S. is falling woefully behind in the race to gather enough supplies. In fact, America’s reliance on imported minerals just hit another record, with China the largest supplier of these crucial building blocks.

The Biden administration knows it has a problem on its hands. Jake Sullivan — the Biden administration’s top national security adviser — recently said, “Clean energy supply chains are at risk of being weaponized in the same way as oil in the 1970s or natural gas in Europe in 2022.”

Sullivan says America’s dependence on China-dominated supply chains is unacceptable. And China’s use of forced labor, threats against Taiwan, and hoarding of mineral supplies as geopolitical leverage should be reason enough to take action.

Remarkably, though, the Biden administration has yet to use the best lever to address the problem. The administration is having the State Department fund mining overseas — including in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That’s particularly unfortunate because mining in the DRC is rife with child workers exposed to toxic dust.

Such disturbing practices contrast with much safer — and heavily regulated — mining in the United States. This matters because the U.S. possesses vast mineral supplies, including the resources needed for electric vehicle batteries.

#MAMA – Make America Mine Again – safer and environmentally benign methods.


Read more at: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2023/may/21/biden-must-embrace-domestic-mining/

#Birmingham to become #UK’s first centre for rare earth magnet recycling

Pioneering rare earth recycling company HyProMag, which was formed by researchers from the University of Birmingham’s School of Metallurgy and Materials, is to be acquired by Maginito Ltd, in a deal that aims to catalyse the further scale-up and international roll-out of technology first piloted at the University of Birmingham and forming the basis for the UK’s first full scale remanufacturing facility for rare earth magnets at Birmingham’s Tyseley Energy Park being developed later this year.

HyProMag’s core technology is the based upon the patented process – Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS), which was originally developed within the University’s Magnetic Materials Group (MMG) to extract rare earth magnets from scrap and redundant equipment and subsequently licensed to HyProMag.

The development of domestic sources of recycled rare earths in the UK, Germany, United States and other territories is a significant opportunity to fast-track the development of sustainable and competitive recycled rare earth magnet production.

Read more at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/2023/birmingham-to-become-uks-first-centre-for-rare-earth-magnet-recycling

Can the World Make an Electric Car Battery Without China?

It is one of the defining competitions of our age: The countries that can make batteries for electric cars will reap decades of economic and geopolitical advantages.

The only winner so far is China.

Despite billions in Western investment, China is so far ahead — mining rare minerals, training engineers and building huge factories — that the rest of the world may take decades to catch up.

Even by 2030, China will make more than twice as many batteries as every other country combined, according to estimates from Benchmark Minerals, a consulting group.

Here’s how China controls each step of lithium-ion battery production, from getting the raw materials out of the ground to making the cars, and why these advantages are likely to last.

China controls:41% of the world’s cobalt
28% of lithium
6% of the world’s nickel
78% of graphite
5% of manganese
REFINING:95% of manganese
73% of cobalt
70% of graphite
67% of lithium
63% of nickel
Components making:74% of separators
77% of cathodes
92% of anodes
Cathodes making:73% of NMC cathodes
99% of LFP cathodes
Battery Cells66% of the world’s battery cells

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/05/16/business/china-ev-battery.html

#India and #Canada likely to sign interim free trade deal this year

According to the officials, the interim negotiation with Canada is “progressing fast” and the two countries may sign a deal in the second half of this year.

India and Canada may sign an interim free trade deal by this year, the precursor to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), officials said after commerce minister Piyush Goyal and his Canadian counterpart Mary Ng reviewed the progress of ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries a day before the CEOs roundtable, held in Toronto on Tuesday.

Read more at: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-and-canada-may-sign-interim-free-trade-deal-by-year-end-precursor-to-comprehensive-economic-partnership-agreement-101683746661784.html

#Indonesia emerges as world’s second-largest #Cobalt producer

Indonesia has emerged as the world’s second-largest supplier of cobalt, contributing to a sharp fall in the price of the battery metal and adding to western anxieties about Beijing’s dominance across the electric car supply chain. The south-east Asian country generated 9,500 tonnes of cobalt last year — 5 per cent of the global supply — up from minimal volumes before 2021, according to an annual market report by the Cobalt Institute, an industry group. That means it has overtaken established producers Australia and the Philippines.

The surge in the supply of Indonesian cobalt — a byproduct from its rapidly growing nickel industry — has helped drive prices down from $40 per pound in April last year to about $15, according to Fastmarkets.

Read more at: https://www.ft.com/content/aae97af3-02ac-4723-a6fd-dbb0e5de55ff

#ElonMusk, #GregAbbott celebrate groundbreaking of #Tesla’s new #Texas facility

Tesla CEO Elon Musk traveled to Texas on Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s new lithium refinery that the electric vehicle maker hopes will give the company more control over its supply chain.

Musk said the facility, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the world, will produce lithium for “about a million vehicles” and have more lithium refining capacity than “the rest of North American refining capacity combined.” 

He explained that the refinery’s capacity could be expand.

Read more at: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/elon-musk-greg-abbott-celebrate-groundbreaking-teslas-new-texas-facility

#Oklahoma Gov. Stitt sees growing foreign interest in investments in state

Oklahoma is seeing a sharp increase in foreign investment interest, especially in its renewable energy sector, and is on the cusp of signing large new deals with firms in Switzerland and Asia, Governor Kevin Stitt told Reuters on Wednesday.

“If you want a manufacturing center in the U.S., there’s not a better state to be located in than Oklahoma. We’re dead center located in the middle of the U.S.,” he said, citing a big push by countries and companies to diversify their supply chains and reduce reliance on China.

The state’s low energy costs – about one-third the cost of energy in Europe and the lowest in the United States – were a big draw, Stitt said, adding that Oklahoma derived about 45% of its electricity from renewable sources.

He said he had met recently with officials from Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan, France and Qatar, and was in talks with various firms about potential deals valued at around $1 billion, but ranging higher.

Japan’s Panasonic Holdings, a battery supplier to electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, said on Sunday it is considering building a battery plant in Oklahoma, its third in the United States.

Stitt said agriculture and rare earths production were other promising areas.

USA Rare Earth is investing heavily in a rare-earth metal manufacturing facility in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Stitt said.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/oklahoma-gov-stitt-sees-growing-foreign-interest-investments-state-2023-05-04/

US-EU Critical Minerals Deal Would Give EU Broader Trade Relief

An agreement between the US and the European Union over critical minerals would unlock wider benefits than previously thought, with a deal paving the way to remove several more trade barriers introduced by President Joe Biden’s massive green subsidy law, according to people familiar with the matter.

An accord would essentially allow EU companies to take advantage of some of the benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act on the 50 minerals defined as critical in the law, said the people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Biden administration has said that nations with trade agreements with the US will be able access some of the IRA’s benefits, which will offer some $369 billion in handouts and tax credits over the next decade for clean-energy programs in North America. If the minerals accord is passed, it would act as the equivalent of a free-trade agreement and that status would in turn enable electric vehicles containing EU-extracted and processed critical minerals to be eligible for IRA subsidies, the people said.

The US Trade Representative’s office declined to comment.

An early draft of the EU-US minerals agreement lists five minerals — cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese and nickel — covered by that standalone accord, Bloomberg previously reported. Such a deal would echo one that the Biden administration signed last month with Japan.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-04-28/us-eu-critical-minerals-deal-would-give-eu-broader-trade-relief#xj4y7vzkg

#Finland’s Fortum begins battery material recovery from EV ‘black mass’

Finnish utility Fortum said on Tuesday it has begun recovering raw materials from the “black mass” of electric vehicle batteries at its new recycling facility in Finland.

Black mass is the shredded material which comes from used batteries, which can include lithium, cobalt, and nickel. These metals can then be extracted and used to make new batteries.

Carmakers such as Tesla, Volkswagen and Stellantis are accelerating their drive to secure these scarce battery raw materials, while the European Union is tightening its regulation on recycling them.

Fortum said it had invested some 27 million euros ($30 million) in the new facility, which it called the first of a kind in Europe, in Harjavalta, southwestern Finland.

It said it would be able to recover 95% of the raw materials contained in the black mass of lithium-ion batteries, to produce a sulphate of nickel and cobalt for reuse in car batteries.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/web/finlands-fortum-begins-battery-material-recovery-from-ev-black-mass/

#Japan to subsidize half the costs of #Lithium, critical minerals projects

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will subsidize up to half the cost of mine development and smelting projects for lithium and other critical minerals by Japanese companies, Nikkei Asia reported on Sunday.

Lithium, manganese, nickel, cobalt, graphite and rare earths are reportedly the main targets for support.

The initiative seeks to secure raw materials used in manufacturing electric car engines and batteries. Japan is planning to diversify its supply chains, as, like most countries, it is dependent on China for many key minerals.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/japan-to-subsidize-half-the-costs-of-lithium-critical-minerals-projects-report/

#Chile plans to nationalize its vast #Lithium industry

SANTIAGO, April 20 (Reuters) – Chile’s President Gabriel Boric said on Thursday he would nationalize the country’s lithium industry, the world’s second largest producer of the metal essential in electric vehicle batteries, to boost its economy and protect its environment.

The shock move in the country with the world’s largest lithium reserves would in time transfer control of Chile’s vast lithium operations from industry giants SQM and Albemarle to a separate state-owned company.

It poses a fresh challenge to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers scrambling to secure battery materials, as more countries look to protect their natural resources. Mexico nationalized its lithium deposits last year, and Indonesia banned exports of nickel ore, a key battery material, in 2020.

“This is the best chance we have at transitioning to a sustainable and developed economy. We can’t afford to waste it,” Boric said in an address televised nationwide.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/chiles-boric-announces-plan-nationalize-lithium-industry-2023-04-21/

Will we have enough #Nickel for our #EVs in 2030?


Historically, close to 70 per cent of refined nickel went into the manufacturing of stainless steel. In recent years, demand for nickel has been shifting to its use in EV batteries. Electric-vehicle battery demand now accounts for 5 per cent of overall nickel production. A typical 60-kilowatt-hour EV battery contains 40 to 50 kilograms of nickel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, EVs will make up between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of new vehicle sales in 2030. In China, EV demand is projected to be similar.

Current global vehicle sales are in the 70 million to 80 million range. Using the 40-per-cent EV sales estimate, we would forecast total sales of 35 million electric vehicles by 2030. For comparison, the International Energy Agency estimates EV sales will then be around 45 million vehicles annually.

With the 40 to 50 kilograms of nickel per vehicle estimate, we would require between 1.5 million and two million tonnes of nickel annually for these EVs. Mining Weekly sees nickel output likely to reach 3.8 million tonnes in 2030. Brazilian mining company Vale SA sees demand as high as 6.2 million tonnes by 2030.


In the short term, increased Indonesian production, a slow Chinese reopening and recession fears are dampening the price of nickel. Looking further out, demand from EVs and other climate targets will cause a constrained supply that will require substantial price increases or a shift in technology.

Read more at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/investment-ideas/article-will-we-have-enough-nickel-for-our-evs-in-2030/

#Apple will use 100 percent recycled #Cobalt in batteries by 2025

PRESS RELEASE April 13, 2023

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced a major acceleration of its work to expand recycled materials across its products, including a new 2025 target to use 100 percent recycled cobalt1 in all Apple-designed batteries. Additionally, by 2025, magnets in Apple devices will use entirely recycled rare earth elements, and all Apple-designed printed circuit boards will use 100 percent recycled tin soldering and 100 percent recycled gold plating. 

Read more at: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2023/04/apple-will-use-100-percent-recycled-cobalt-in-batteries-by-2025/

#Canada and #Mexico are written into US Inflation Reduction Act and Chip Act. Will this boost the North American Integration?

President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet at the 10th North American Leaders’ Summit at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Among the three major supply chain hubs, Asia and Europe are well integrated with the countries in their region. This regionalization helps the Asian and European hubs to source different skill sets, lower cost manpower, lower cost raw materials, financing, and market access.  This regional chains make products more price competitive than the North American supply chain.

Canadian natural resources and skill sets, Mexican labor market, natural resources and skill sets are not fully integrated with United State manufacturing sector and skill sets to get the competitive edge over other two supply chain hubs.

#Canada and #Mexico are written into US Inflation Reduction Act and Chip Act. Will this boost the North American Integration?

#Fastmarkets: Proposal to launch #Asian black mass payable indicators: pricing notice

Fastmarkets’ proposal follows initial feedback that market participants demand a price reference for black mass, referring to the remains of a battery pack after shredding and processing.

South Korea is one of the major importing nations of end-of-life (EOL) electric vehicle (EV) black mass, as well as a significant importer of EOL scrap batteries for processing into black mass within its growing domestic market.

Spot market trading for EOL EV black mass materials is more prevalent and more mature in Asian markets than it is currently in both Europe and North America, according to market participants. In China, while there is a large domestic black mass market, importing these materials is officially prohibited.

Fastmarkets’ South Korean black mass payable indicators will assess the payables for EOL EV black mass produced from nickel, manganese cobalt (NMC) and nickel cobalt aluminium (NCA) batteries. NMC black mass is the chemistry which is most prevalent in the South Korean spot market, according to market sources.

NMC and NCA black mass is usually priced according to the value of their nickel and cobalt content, with these components comprising the largest non-graphite material share and being high in value. Both nickel and cobalt are materials vital for making EV batteries and have become extremely strategic markets in recent years.

Read more at: https://www.fastmarkets.com/insights/proposal-to-launch-asian-black-mass-payable-indicators-pricing-notice

#Tesla lines up for #Lithium as North America’s sole large-scale mine opens in #Quebec

Anyone looking for evidence of the green economy in Canada would do well to drive about six hours north of Montreal to the town of La Corne in the Abitibi region of Quebec, where the first — and for now the only — large-scale lithium mine in North America has begun operating.

Anyone looking for evidence of the green economy in Canada would do well to drive about six hours north of Montreal to the town of La Corne in the Abitibi region of Quebec, where the first — and for now the only — large-scale lithium mine in North America has begun operating.

But the world has changed dramatically in those four years. Most big countries have set out plans to neutralize carbon emissions over the next few decades and the United States and its democratic allies are moving aggressively to orient supply chains away from China. The new owners of the La Corne mine estimate the mine will produce 120,000 tonnes of hard rock lithium spodumene this year, and 226,000 tonnes per year once it is in full swing. Tesla Inc. and South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. have already lined up as buyers.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/tesla-lines-up-lithium-evs-large-quebec-mine

#Ford investing in $4.5B #Indonesia nickel plant to supply #Kentucky-built batteries

Ford has joined PT Vale Indonesia and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt in a joint venture nickel processing plant being built in Indonesia to secure supplies of the mineral for its electric vehicle batteries.

The exact amount of the investment was not announced, but the facility will have an annual output of 120,000 tons of mixed hydroxide precipitate, an extract from nickel ore that is used in EV batteries, when it is fully operational.

“Ford can help ensure that the nickel that we use in electric vehicle batteries is mined, produced within the same ESG standards as part of our business around the world,” Christopher Smith, Ford’s chief government affairs officer, said at the signing ceremony.

Read more at: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/ford-investing-indonesia-nickel-plant-kentucky-batteries

#UK to help #Kazakh exports bypass #Russia, seeks critical minerals

ASTANA, March 18 (Reuters) – Britain will help Kazakhstan develop export routes bypassing Russia, British Foreign Minister James Cleverly said on a visit to the Central Asian nation on Saturday, where he also signed a memorandum on supplies of critical minerals.

Cleverly said London valued the position of Astana – which has traditionally been closely allied with Moscow – on the Ukrainian conflict. Kazakhstan has refused to support Russia’s invasion or recognise its annexation of Ukrainian territories.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk-help-kazakh-exports-bypass-russia-seeks-critical-minerals-2023-03-18/

#EU Proposes Designating #Copper and #Nickel as Critical Metals

The European Union proposed classifying copper and nickel as critical raw materials in landmark legislation designed to bolster supplies, alongside other metals key to the energy transition.

Inclusion on the EU’s new critical raw materials list would underscore growing political angst over long-term supplies of the metals as the global decarbonization drive turbocharges demand. The new Critical Raw Materials Act — presented to lawmakers on Thursday — could open the door to expedited permitting and financing of copper and nickel mining projects in the EU, as the bloc looks to boost domestic production and ease reliance on imports.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-16/eu-proposes-designating-copper-and-nickel-as-critical-metals?leadSource=uverify%20wall

#Volkswagen picks #Canada for first battery cell plant outside #Europe

Volkswagen chose Canada to build its first battery cell plant outside Europe, granting its cars access to both Canadian and U.S. subsidies as it works to localise electric vehicle production chain in the region.

Volkswagen AG confirmed in December it was looking for sites for a Canadian plant, six months after signing a memorandum of understanding with the country to secure access to key raw materials for batteries.

Canada, home to a large mining sector for minerals including lithium, nickel and cobalt, is trying to woo companies involved in all levels of the EV supply chain via a multi-billion-dollar green technology fund as the world seeks to cut carbon emissions.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/volkswagen-build-first-north-american-battery-cell-plant-canada-2023-03-13/

#MIT Technology Review: #US minerals industries are booming. Here’s why.

A recent set of sweeping US laws have already kicked off a boom in proposals for new mining operations, minerals processing facilities, and battery plants, laying the foundation for domestic supply chains that could support rapid growth in electric vehicles and other clean technologies.

That’s by design. A stipulation in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted last year, restricts EV tax credits to vehicles with batteries that contain a significant portion of minerals extracted or refined within the US, or from countries that have free-trade agreements with it. Manufacturing the batteries that power these vehicles requires significant amounts of finished materials such as cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese, and nickel. Today these often come from other nations, particularly China.

Read more at: https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/03/13/1069658/us-minerals-industries-are-booming-heres-why/

#India mulling to discuss mechanism with #Australia under FTA for smooth supply of critical minerals

India is considering to discuss a mechanism with Australia for a smooth supply of their critical minerals under the comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) amid a huge demand in the domestic market, according to sources.

India and Australia have implemented an Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) in December 2022, and now negotiations are on for expanding the scope of that agreement into a comprehensive pact (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement or CECA).

There is a huge demand for critical minerals like lithium, titanium, vanadium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite in India as the country is targeting to boost the production of renewable energy by 2030.

Batteries will enable the current energy transition towards electric mobility, integration of renewable energy through grid-scale storage and improved energy access in India.

Read more at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-mulling-to-discuss-mechanism-with-australia-under-fta-for-smooth-supply-of-critical-minerals/article66610288.ece

#UK and #Canada sign agreement to boost green tech supply chains

The UK and Canada have agreed a landmark agreement to co-operate on critical minerals such as cobalt and lithium that are essential to the economy.

  • UK and Canada to sign agreement to bolster vital technologies such as smart phones, solar panels and electric vehicles.
  • Agree to work together on critical minerals research and make supply chains more resilient as demand for some minerals expected to rise 500% by 2040.
  • Agreement signed on Minister Nus Ghani’s five-day visit to Canada to meet counterparts and attend the International Mines Ministers Summit and the closing of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The UK and Canada have agreed a landmark agreement to co-operate on critical minerals such as cobalt and lithium that are essential to the economy and used in almost all modern and green technologies, from solar panels to electric vehicles.

The partnership, to be launched today [Monday 6 March] by Business and Trade Minister Nusrat Ghani MP and Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson, will help make UK manufacturers of cutting-edge technologies more resilient to global shocks by promoting research and development between UK and Canadian businesses, driving innovation and growth.

The announcement comes on a five-day visit to Canada, during which time Minister Ghani will also meet Canadian government counterparts to discuss critical minerals and attend the International Mines Ministers Summit.

Read more at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-canada-sign-agreement-to-boost-green-tech-supply-chains

Fusion Energy in 2030

More than 30 groups are now pursuing the development of fusion energy around the world, and approaches vary widely—from style of reactor configuration to the type of fuel the future reactors will rely on. Since TAE’s founding in 1998, the company has built five National Laboratory-scale devices and has successfully generated and confined fusion plasma more than 140,000 times.

TAE is currently building and designing two more machines, Copernicus and Da Vinci, which will be able to demonstrate net energy and deliver power to the grid, respectively.

Inventing fusion reactors that produce net energy is one thing, delivering it as a reliable, grid-ready source of electricity is another. By choosing to pursue hydrogen-boron as a fuel cycle, TAE has anticipated the true demands of commercial, daily use of fusion energy. Most fusion efforts around the world are focused on combining hydrogen isotopes deuterium-tritium (D-T) to use as fuel, and the donut-shaped tokamak machines commonly used in fusion concepts are limited to D-T fuel.

Unlike those efforts, TAE’s compact linear design uses an advanced accelerator beam-driven field-reversed configuration (FRC) that is versatile, and can accommodate all available fusion fuel cycles, including p-B11, D-T and deuterium-helium-3 (D-He3 or D3He). This benefit will uniquely enable TAE to license its technology on the way to its ultimate goal of connecting the first hydrogen-boron fusion power plant to the grid in the 2030s.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2023-02-hydrogen-boron-fusion-magnetically-confined-plasma.html

#GeneralMotors Competes for Stake in #Nickel Assets in Race to Secure EV Metals

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Tesla has long dominated the electric vehicles (EV) sector thanks in a large part to the company’s vertical integration and ability to maintain control over the supply of the materials that it needs. However, Tesla’s top spot in the market could be compromised as other automakers look to strike deals with key metals suppliers.

Brazilian mining giant Vale SA is looking to separate the metals unit in 2023, which is one of the largest nickel and copper operations, and has already attracted interest from several car companies, including Tesla’s rival General Motors.

According to Bloomberg, General Motors is one of the companies that has moved to the next phase of obtaining a minority share in Vale’s metals unit, which may raise $2 billion through a partnership with another company for the venture.

This isn’t the first time the two companies have done business. Last year, Vale and GM signed a long-term supply agreement for battery-grade nickel which will see Vale supply 25,000 metric tons annually of contained nickel – enough to supply approximately 350,000 EVs every year – from its proposed plant in Québec, Canada.1

Vale’s metals unit, which is valued at $20-$25 billion, has also garnered interest from Japan’s Mitsui & Co.2

Meanwhile several other automakers like Ford and Volkswagen, have signed long-term mineral supply deals to secure materials for their EV batteries. Last year, Volkswagen formed a joint venture worth €3 billion (US$ with Belgium’s Umicore for cathode materials. Meanwhile, Tesla struck nickel and cobalt deals with BHP Group and Glencore, respectively, in 2021. In March of that year, Tesla also entered a mining venture in New Caledonia.3

Read more at: https://news.yahoo.com/general-motors-competes-stake-nickel-150000711.html

China’s Newest Weapon to Nab Western Technology—Its Courts

Rulings nullify patents in industries it deems important, including technology, pharmaceuticals and rare-earth minerals.

The growing conflict between China and the U.S. extends from computer-chip factories to a suspected spy balloon over American skies. Running through it all is a struggle for technological superiority.

China has striven for years to develop cutting-edge technologies, in part through heavy spending on research. Now, according to Western officials and executives, it also has mobilized its legal system to pry technology from other nations.

Read more at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-china-technology-disputes-intellectual-property-europe-e749a72e

Electric Vehicles Could Match Gasoline Cars on Price This Year

Competition, government incentives and falling raw material prices are making battery-powered cars more affordable sooner than expected.

More quickly than seemed possible a few months ago, sticker prices for electric vehicles are falling closer to the point where they could soon be on a par with gasoline cars.

Increased competition, government incentives and falling prices for lithium and other battery materials are making electric vehicles noticeably more affordable. The tipping point when electric vehicles become as cheap as or cheaper than cars with internal combustion engines could arrive this year for some mass market models and is already the case for some luxury vehicles.

Prices are likely to continue trending lower as Tesla, General Motors, Ford Motor and their battery suppliers ramp up new factories, reaping the cost savings that come from mass production. New electric vehicles from companies like Volkswagen, Nissan and Hyundai will add to competitive pressure.

The battery-powered version of G.M.’s Equinox crossover, for example, will start around $30,000 when it arrives this fall, the carmaker has said. That is $3,400 more than the least expensive gasoline-fueled Equinox. But factoring in government incentives, the electric Equinox should be cheaper. Like all electric vehicles, the car will need less maintenance, and the electricity to power it will cost less than the gasoline used by its combustion engine equivalent.

Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/10/business/electric-vehicles-price-cost.html

#Microsoft calls for ‘coalition’ to improve #Congo’s informal #Cobalt mines

Congo accounts for three-quarters of the world’s mined cobalt supply. Industrial mines produce most of Congo’s cobalt, but “artisanal” miners, who dig by hand and often die when tunnels cave in, account for up to 30% of production, though that fluctuates depending on price.

Companies that use cobalt in products from electric cars to smartphones should work to improve conditions at artisanal mines instead of seeking to cut artisanal cobalt out of their supply chains, an independent report on the visit argued on Wednesday.

As consumers become more concerned that the products they buy are tainted by poor working conditions or child labour, global tech firms and carmakers have been using less mined cobalt in their batteries by increasing recycling and switching to lower-cobalt chemistries.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/microsoft-calls-coalition-improve-congos-informal-cobalt-mines-2023-02-08/

We’re Not Even Close to Running Out of Green Minerals

The metals demand from the energy transition “may top current global supply,” the International Monetary Fund warned in a 2021 analysis. Difficulty securing materials such as lithium, cobalt, tellurium and copper could hamper the shift to cleaner energy, Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab wrote in December. 

New data from the US Geological Survey show why some of those fears are likely to be overblown. Each year, the USGS analyzes almost every commodity on earth, from iron ore to indium and palladium to peat, to get a handle on whether production is sufficient to meet the world’s — and in particular, America’s — needs.

The latest figures show a boom in supplies of many of the most important minerals for the energy transition. Lithium reserves are up 18% from last year. Cobalt has seen a 9.2% gain. Rare earths, which have a range of high-tech applications including magnets in electric car motors and wind turbines, saw reserves up 8.3% after standing still for at least five years.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/were-not-even-close-to-running-out-of-green-minerals/2023/02/06/0ced1992-a65b-11ed-b2a3-edb05ee0e313_story.html

A New ‘Glue’ Could Make #Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Cheaper—And Less Toxic

Recycling of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and consumer electronics is an urgent priority given tight global supplies of pricey metals like lithium, nickel and cobalt, but it has a downside: current techniques like controlled burning can release toxic chemicals. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, however, say they’ve found a solution: a new material that allows old lithium-ion cells to be recycled with just water. And it could soon make battery recycling cheaper and safer.

Battery cells use glue-like binders to hold the positively charged cathode and negatively charged anode—the elements that transmit electricity—together. Lawrence Berkeley’s material is a “quick-release” binder made from two widely available polymers that dissolves when placed in room-temperature alkaline water containing sodium hydroxide. The battery metals can then be filtered out of the solution and air-dried, the researchers said. There’s no burning and no release of toxins.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2023/02/01/a-new-glue-could-make-lithium-ion-battery-recycling-cheaper—and-less-toxic/?sh=48a2fa525da3

Scientists develop more humane, environmentally friendly battery material

In order to find other solutions for lithium-ion batteries that move away from a dependency on cobalt, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have participated in a collaborative study to identify new potential materials for the positive terminal of a battery, called a cathode. In a battery, lithium ions are inserted into a cathode during charging and released during discharging, providing electricity.

In the new study, a research team led by the University of California, Irvine created and analyzed a material for a lithium-ion cathode that uses no cobalt and is instead rich in nickel. This cathode chemistry is compositionally complex, meaning that it contains small amounts of a wide range of other metals. These metals include molybdenum, niobium and titanium.

Read more at: https://www.anl.gov/article/scientists-develop-more-humane-environmentally-friendly-battery-material

U.S. bans mining in parts of Minnesota, dealing latest blow to Antofagasta’s copper project

The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday blocked mining in part of northeast Minnesota for 20 years, the latest blow to Antofagasta Plc’s Twin Metals copper and nickel mining project but a step officials said is needed to protect the state’s vast network of interconnected waterways.

While Congress and President Joe Biden have heavily subsidized mining and minerals processing, administration officials said the risk from a mine to northern Minnesota’s ecology was too great.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/us-blocks-mining-parts-minnesota-dealing-latest-blow-antofagastas-copper-project-2023-01-26/

New U.S. Battery Entrant Targets Fully Domestic Supply Chains

In July, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden committed his administration to mounting what he called a “whole of government” effort to establish secure supply chains for the technology needed to create his targeted transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles. One crucial target for that effort is to liberate supply chains for lithium and other minerals needed for batteries to power the EVs and provide energy storage for wind and solar generation from dominance by China.

Progress towards this objective has been slow to develop in the intervening 18 months since Biden’s announcement, and China has made clear that it will not stand still. Last week, the Bolivian government announced it has chosen a consortium led by Chinese battery maker CATL to help develop that country’s huge reserves of lithium. The deal provides China with a foothold in South America’s Lithium Triangle, the world’s biggest known store of lithium which straddles the borders between Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. It is a reserve of lithium the U.S. would like to be able to tap for its own future needs.

The Biden administration received better news Monday, as battery maker Statevolt announced the successful acquisition of 135 acres near the Salton Sea in Southern California to serve as the site of its planned 54GWh Gigafactory. Statevolt plans to manufacture both transportation and stationary storage batteries using supply chains for lithium and its other needs sourced entirely in the United States. Statevolt says its battery plant will be technology-agnostic and utilize a modular production process that will create a high degree of versality, enabling the manufacture of a variety of battery products in what has become a rapidly-evolving technology space.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2023/01/25/new-us-battery-entrant-targets-fully-domestic-supply-chains/?ss=energy&sh=2a63d84e54c0

#Chinese firm #CATL to develop huge #Bolivian #Lithium deposit

A giant Chinese battery company, Catl, has won a bidding process to develop Bolivia’s huge lithium reserves.

The ultra-light metal is used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, production of which is expected to soar as fossil fuels are phased out.

Bolivian President Luis Arce said the Catl-led consortium was launching the “historic” industrialisation of lithium in Bolivia.

More than $1bn (£807m) will be invested in the project’s first phase, he said.

Australia and Chile are the world’s biggest lithium producers, but Bolivia has huge reserves in the Potosi and Oruro salt flats.

Technical hurdles and a lack of infrastructure have long delayed the extraction of lithium in Bolivia, whose reserves are estimated at 21m tonnes.

Read more at: https://sports.yahoo.com/chinese-firm-catl-develop-huge-013548036.html

#Congo president demands more from $6.2 billion #China metals deal

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi criticized a $6.2 billion minerals-for-infrastructure contract with China, saying the world’s largest producer of a key battery metal hasn’t benefited from the deal.

Congo, Africa’s second-largest nation by landmass, is flush with natural resources — including copper and cobalt that are major components in electric vehicles — but remains one of the world’s least-developed countries. Most of its minerals end up in China, which signed a landmark deal with Tshisekedi’s predecessor in 2008 to trade roads and buildings for the two metals.

“The Chinese, they’ve made a lot of money and made a lot of profit from this contract,” Tshisekedi said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Now our need is simply to re-balance things in a way that it becomes win-win.”

The contract renegotiation is part of a campaign by the president to ensure the country gets paid for the full value of its resources, which are increasingly in high demand.

The accord with China was signed at a time when Congo was emerging from decades of dictatorship and war and newly elected President Joseph Kabila was desperate for financing. It mandated that Chinese companies invest $3.2 billion in a copper-cobalt mine and another $3 billion in infrastructure funded by the mine’s revenue.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/web/congo-president-demands-more-from-6-2-billion-china-metals-deal/

EVs need #Nickel: #Minnesota metal company digs for the solution with new mine

An American-based metal manufacturer out of a small town in Minnesota is fighting to establish a domestic nickel supply chain as demand for the product increases, and supply continues to deplete.

Talon Metals out of Tamarack, Minnesota – a town with a population size of 62 – teamed up with mining company Rio Tinto to build an on-site nickel mine, which is expected to be fully operational in 2026. With the electric vehicle (EV) market growing, Talon Metals has also struck a deal with Tesla to produce nickel domestically for its car batteries.

Read more at: https://www.foxbusiness.com/energy/evs-need-nickel-minnesota-metal-company-digs-solution-new-mine

The United States Releases Signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to Strengthen Electric Vehicle Battery Value Chain

Today, the Department of State released the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on electric vehicle battery value chains signed by the United States on December 13, 2022, during the Africa Leaders Summit.  Through this MOU, the United States will support the commitment between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to develop jointly a supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.  The MOU supports the DRC and Zambia’s goal of building a productive supply chain, from the mine to the assembly line, while also committing to respect international standards to prevent, detect, and take legal action to fight corruption throughout this process.

The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt.  Zambia is the world’s sixth-largest copper producer, and the second largest cobalt producer in Africa.  

Read more at: https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-releases-signed-memorandum-of-understanding-with-the-democratic-republic-of-congo-and-zambia-to-strengthen-electric-vehicle-battery-value-chain/

#BASF, #Eramet near $2.6 bln #Indonesia deal to process #Nickel for EV batteries

Germany’s BASF  and French miner Eramet are finalising a $2.6 billion partnership deal to invest in a facility in Indonesia to process nickel for use in batteries for electric vehicles, Indonesian officials said.

While overall battery demand for nickel makes up a small portion of the 3 million tonne market, Indonesia is primed to become the world’s biggest supplier as it builds out some 4.5 million tonnes of capacity that can supply both markets over the next five years, analysts estimate.

An investor presentation by Eramet this month showed that the planned new plant is expected to start production in early 2026, subject to a final investment decision, with an output capacity of up to 67,000 tonnes of nickel and around 7,000 tonnes of cobalt per year contained in MHP.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/basf-eramet-finalise-partnership-indonesia-nickel-smelter-indonesia-2023-01-18/

James Bay #Lithium mine wins federal approval amid #Trudeau’s push to make #Canada an EV player

The federal government approved the construction of a lithium mine in northern Quebec, moving Brisbane, Australia-based Allkem Ltd.‘s project closer to the finish line, and moving Canada closer to being able to supply a highly sought metal that will be key to the energy transition.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several of his provincial counterparts have been selling Canada as an important node in the shift to electric vehicles, boasting that the country’s mineral wealth will be a competitive advantage.

In addition, the nation, along with the United States and some of the bigger European economies, is looking to shift supply chains away from China, which dominates the EV sector, to friendlier nations amidst geopolitical concerns.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/james-bay-lithium-mine-federal-approval

#Biden backs #Nevada #Lithium mine with $700 million loan offer

A Nevada lithium mine that would be only the second in the US is getting backing from the Biden administration as it seeks to boost the domestic supply of the critical mineral needed to make electric vehicle batteries.

The Energy Department issued a conditional commitment for up to $700 million for Ioneer Ltd.’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project, a prospective supplier to Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. that could produce enough lithium for 370,000 electric vehicles a year. Project partners include mining and metals processing group Sibanye Stillwater Ltd.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/web/biden-backs-nevada-lithium-mine-with-700-million-loan-offer/

#Japanese delegation to visit #Canada to meet with battery, mining companies

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrive to a joint news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Blair Gable

Japan will send a delegation to meet with Canadian battery and mining companies early this year, while Canada is planning a trade mission to Japan later in October, the leaders of both countries announced on Thursday after meeting in Ottawa.

As this year’s host of the Group of Seven (G7), Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came to Canada to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before continuing onto Washington, where he will sit down with U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday.

“This spring, we’re… looking forward to hosting an important business delegation from Japan,” Trudeau said. “They’re planning to be meeting with Canadian battery and mining companies and potential partners.”

Read more at: https://japantoday.com/category/politics/japanese-delegation-to-visit-canada-to-meet-with-battery-mining-companies

Huge rare earth metals discovery in Arctic #Sweden

No rare earths are mined in Europe at the moment and a Swedish minister hailed the find as a way of reducing the EU’s dependence on China.

The discovery is also being seen as “decisive” for the green transition, given the expected rise in demand for electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Some 98% of rare earths used in the EU in 2021 were imported from China.

Over one million tonnes are reported to have now been found in Sweden’s far north.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64253708

#India’s foray into the #EV battery market lacks some key ingredients

As the world tries to wean itself off dependence on China for crucial battery materials, India is taking bold steps to position itself as an alternative in the electric vehicle supply chain.

The government has unveiled incentives of at least $3.4 billion to expedite its lagging adoption of EVs as Prime Minister Narendra Modi vows to reach net zero by 2070. The idea is that manufacturing the costliest component — batteries — locally will make the end product more affordable for the mass market and set the country up as a potential exporter, tapping into surging global demand.

The initiatives have piqued the interest of billionaires like Mukesh Ambani, whose Reliance Industries Ltd. is building an EV battery facility as part of a broader $76 billion push into clean energy. Ambani’s is among three companies, including scooter-maker Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. and bullion refiner Rajesh Exports Ltd. set to receive incentives under a $2.3 billion program to support advanced battery cell development.

With gigawatt-scale manufacturing facilities planned, India could carve out a role as an exporter of lithium-ion cells to European and American markets, said Rahul Prithiani, senior director for energy, sustainability and commodities at Crisil Ltd., the local analytics unit of S&P Global. “But for this, India needs to secure robust supply chains along with recycling capabilities,” he said.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/web/indias-foray-into-the-ev-battery-market-lacks-some-key-ingredients/

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