#Forbes: It Might Take A Long Time For The U.S. To Become Self-Sufficient In Rare Earth Materials

Once again the U.S. is faced with the potential of restricted access to rare earth elements. The President ordered a supply chain review examining U.S. reliance on overseas sources for semiconductors, rare earth elements, batteries, and pharmaceuticals. China is the global leader in mining, refining, and component manufacturing of products that use rare earth elements, so in the face of escalating tensions between the two countries, many U.S. manufacturers might be vulnerable.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. led the world in research on rare earths, but by the 1980s funding for the chemistry, separation technology, and processing was reduced. Low-pricing from China made U.S. mining and processing uncompetitive, and the Mountain Pass mine was closed in the 1990s, only to be reopened in 2013 after China restricted supplies.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. led the world in research on rare earths, but by the 1980s funding for the chemistry, separation technology, and processing was reduced. Low-pricing from China made U.S. mining and processing uncompetitive, and the Mountain Pass mine was closed in the 1990s, only to be reopened in 2013 after China restricted supplies.

The biggest challenge, as always, is economics. In the past when the U.S. (and Japan) faced threats to the supply of rare earth minerals, there was a rush to develop alternatives. But once the threat passed and prices from China dropped, alternative sources lost their appeal. That is also the case now. The real question is whether domestic sources will be economically sustainable over time.

Could the U.S. become self-sufficient again?

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyshih/2021/02/24/it-might-take-a-long-time-for-the-us-to-become-self-sufficient-in-rare-earth-materials/?sh=57b3273f192d

#Canada could be top player in global EV battery market

Canada has a sizeable opportunity to become one of the world’s leaders in the lithium-ion battery market, but that potential needs to be recognized and nurtured by regulators and miners, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence director Simon Moores told the House of Commons on Monday.

Moores, who joined a parliamentary discussion on Canada’s role in building a domestic and global lithium-ion battery ecosystem, said the combination of natural resources and a highly-skilled workforce should make it easy for the country to create a sustainable value chain for battery materials.

Canada is rich in lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, aluminum and manganese, key ingredients for advanced battery manufacturing and storage technology.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/canada-could-be-top-player-in-global-ev-battery-market-report/

#Forbes: Batteries Are Already Powering The Future: Here’s Why

One of the great myths of the energy transition is the battery problem. There’s widespread concern about their cost, as well as the question of what we are going to do with ones that have to be replaced, which are often reported as potentially dangerous to the environment.

In 2020 we managed to drop below the strategic $100/kWh threshold, down 13% from 2019, and that’s still counting on the technology of the future being lithium-ion, which doesn’t take into account the potential of other highly promising technologies.

A decade ago, many people believed that the problem with electric vehicles was the need to replace their batteries; but we now know from experience that batteries not only last much longer than we thought , but are set to far exceed the average life of the vehicles they power: there are now batteries that last up to sixteen years or two million kilometers.

The second part of the great battery myth pertains to recycling.

Batteries, whether for powering electric vehicles, heating our homes, or storing the energy produced at renewable power plants, are fundamental to understanding the future of energy.

The sooner we begin to demolish unfounded myths about batteries and understand the factors that determine their evolution in the future and the leadership required for its adoption, the better for everyone.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2021/02/20/batteries-are-already-powering-the-future-hereswhy/?sh=362e67983e63

#Northvolt to invest $200 mln in new #Polish battery plant

(Reuters) – Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt said on Friday it will invest $200 million in a new energy storage systems factory in Gdansk, Poland.

China currently hosts roughly 80% of the world’s lithium-ion cell production, but with demand expected to soar over the next decade Europe’s capacity is set to expand quickly.

“Securing battery cell manufacturing capacity in Europe is key for its industrial future, but what is equally critical is the industrial capacity for integrating cells into real-world solutions,” Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson said in a statement.

“It is this that the new factory will deliver — sophisticated, sustainable energy storage systems to support the transformation of Europe’s electricity grid and its industry.”

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/northvolt-poland/update-1-northvolt-to-invest-200-mln-in-new-polish-battery-plant-idUKL8N2KP35Y

Mining boom could herald commodity ‘supercycle’

It is known as a “supercycle” – and there have only been four in the past century. The term defines periods when commodity prices enjoy an extended boom, and this week’s multibillion-dollar windfalls for mining company investors suggest a fifth supercycle is on its way.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/17/mining-boom-commodity-supercycle-copper-nickel-price-investments-clean-energy

#Yahoo News: #Biden-ordered review of supply chain to include electric car batteries, medical supplies and rare earth metals

WASHINGTON — President Biden will sign an executive order that will require the government to produce unclassified assessments of key industries and their supply chains, including semiconductor manufacturing, electric car batteries, medical supplies, and rare earth elements such as the ones used in iPhones and military systems.

Read more at: https://news.yahoo.com/biden-ordered-review-of-supply-chain-to-include-electric-car-batteries-medical-supplies-and-rare-earth-metals-152610673.html

#ORNL researchers demonstrate new class of #Nickel-#cobalt superalloys for Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, are reported to have demonstrated that a new class of superalloys, made of cobalt and nickel, remains crack-free and defect-resistant in extreme heat, making them conducive for use in metal Additive Manufacturing applications.

Read more at: https://www.metal-am.com/ornl-researchers-demonstrate-new-class-of-superalloys-for-additive-manufacturing/

How #Canada can capitalize on #US auto sector’s pivot to electric

China is already working hard to become the “source of a new way” to power vehicles, U.S. President Joe Biden warned last week.

“We just have to step up.”

Canada has both the resources and expertise to do the same, says Mr. Volpe (President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association), whose ambitious Project Arrow concept – a homegrown zero-emissions vehicle named for the 1950s-era Avro interceptor jet – is designed to showcase exactly that.

“We’re going to prove to the market, we’re going to prove to the [manufacturers] around the planet, that everything that goes into your zero-emission vehicle can be made or sourced here in Canada,” he says.

Read more at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-how-canada-can-capitalize-on-us-auto-sectors-abrupt-pivot-to-electric/

#Bloomberg: Climate Is Next Race for Global Supremacy, Bank of America Says

Put aside the trade and technology wars. The next race for global political and economic supremacy will focus on climate.

That’s according to Bank of America Corp.s’ research group, which said climate change will be this decade’s most important theme, just as technology underpinned economic growth during the past decade. China has spent twice as much as the U.S. on climate action, said Haim Israel, the bank’s head of global thematic investing research, in a report Monday.

“We believe climate strategies offer a route to global supremacy,” he said. “Whether through regulation, limits on exports, tariffs or significant investments, we believe the U.S. and China will do whatever it takes to take the lead on climate action.”

The economic impact of climate change could reach $69 trillion this century, and investments in the energy transition need to increase to $4 trillion a year, Israel said. That will lead to more than $100 billion a year in research and development.

Bank of America estimates that the potential market capitalization for companies tackling climate to be about $6 trillion across things like renewables, electric vehicles, and environmental, social and governance. China dominates EVs and batteries, while Europe excels in renewables, the report says.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-08/climate-seen-as-next-race-for-global-supremacy-bofa-says

#Tesla to Submit Investment Proposal as #Indonesia’s Battery Plan Is Taking Shape

Jakarta. Indonesia has expected Tesla, the world’s largest carmaker company by market capitalization, to submit a proposal about the company’s plan to establish a car battery plant and energy storage system in the archipelago today, as the country’s plan to dominate the electric car battery market begins to take shape. 

Tesla’s proposal could be one in a series of ore processing and battery investments that the government hope would make up the bulk of the country’s $64 billion investment target for this year. 

Read more at: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/tesla-to-submit-investment-proposal-as-indonesias-battery-plan-is-taking-shape

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