SMM Analysis: #Lithium Battery Recycling Has Broad Prospects and Waste Lithium Batteries Have Become “Sought-After” Products in New Energy Industry

SHANGHAI, May 18 (SMM) – Since the second half of 2021, the prices of upstream raw materials in the power battery industry chain have risen steadily, and the prices of raw materials such as lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate, and nickel sulphate have soared by nearly 10 times. Waste lithium batteries and battery scrap generated in production process contain nickel, cobalt, and lithium metal, allowing their prices to sky-rocket when the supply of raw materials is tight.

Here is a brief introduction to the pricing method of waste lithium batteries. Taking the most popular waste NMC lithium battery in the recycling market as an example. The recycling price = (SMM refined nickel price × nickel content % + SMM refined cobalt price × cobalt content %) × discount coefficient %. From this formula, it can be seen that in addition to the price fluctuations of refined nickel and refined cobalt, which can directly affect the final recycling price of used lithium batteries, the spot prices and price trends of lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate, and nickel sulphate will also affect the discount coefficient, thereby affecting the recycling prices. Although lithium is not directly priced in the pricing scheme, the price of lithium carbonate and the relationship between supply and demand will also affect the change in the “discount coefficient %” in the formula.

At present, due to the scarcity of nickel-cobalt-lithium primary resources, insufficient domestic supply, and dependence on imports, the price of battery cathode raw materials has skyrocketed. Many new energy companies have turned their attention to waste power batteries which have the reputation of being called “urban mines”. The discount coefficient of waste NMC lithium battery soared to 150% at the beginning of the year. At present, due to the weakening of domestic new energy market demand, the price of waste lithium batteries has also returned to a more rational range.

Read more at: https://news.metal.com/newscontent/101835021/SMM-Analysis:-Lithium-Battery-Recycling-Has-Broad-Prospects-and-Waste-Lithium-Batteries-Have-Become-%22Sought-After%22-Products-in-New-Energy-Industry/

Four countries to pledge tenfold rise in EU offshore wind power capacity

COPENHAGEN, May 18 (Reuters) – Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark will on Wednesday sign a pledge to build at least 150 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity in the North Sea by 2050, enough to power 230 million European homes,said the Danish energy ministry.

This would be an almost tenfold increase in the European Union’s offshore wind capacity, and the promise comes as the bloc tries to wean itself of planet-warming fossil fuels and its dependency on Russian energy.

Read more at: Four countries to pledge tenfold rise in EU offshore wind power capacity | Reuters

Elon Musk Misses the Big Picture on Lithium Mining

Lack of investment in refining technologies, and companies have been put at a disadvantage. They’re now gearing up to deal with surging raw material demand — much sooner than they expected — and supply chain snarls. But the methods and processes haven’t fully evolved.

Elon Musk has a suggestion for entrepreneurs: Get into lithium mining for juicy margins. It’s a pithy recommendation, but it fails to grasp the complicated challenges for producing more of the metal.

Soaring lithium prices have dampened the excitement around electric vehicles. Musk noted that the production of the white metal was the biggest “limiting factor” for EVs. That may be true — along with all the other battery supply chain bottlenecks — but just mining more lithium or buying a mine isn’t the solution.

As the gap widens between supply and demand for the metal, prices have been rising for everything from the ore of lithium, spodumene, to lithium carbonate and a more refined form, lithium hydroxide. Mexico has nationalized lithium production, and Chile, home to some of the largest mines in the world, is moving closer to doing so as well. China is keeping a tight lid on prices and pushing them down to ensure its companies don’t suffer setbacks. The US is trying to find ways to expand lithium supply.

Yet no solutions to close the gap — and make widespread adoption of EVs a reality — are readily emerging. Part of that is because mining, more broadly, has acquired a bad reputation over the years and was dumped in the non-ESG investor bucket. That meant a lack of investment in refining technologies, and companies have been put at a disadvantage. They’re now gearing up to deal with surging raw material demand — much sooner than they expected — and supply chain snarls. But the methods and processes haven’t fully evolved.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/elon-musk-misses-the-big-picture-on-lithium-mining/2022/05/16/b95193cc-d56c-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html

Supply chains endanger #American security. Here’s what #Biden is doing.

In late February, as most people were focusing on the war in Ukraine, the White House published over 1,300 pages of reports from a year-long and unprecedented investigation into the economic vulnerabilities caused by global supply chains.

These reports received almost no press attention. Yet they shed light on one of the crucial side effects of the war in Ukraine. Decoupling the economies of the United States and its allies from the economies of authoritarian nations may cause massive disruption.

Shortly after coming into office, the Biden-Harris administration issued an executive order on “America’s Supply Chains.” Seven federal agencies were directed to undertake comprehensive studies of the national and international economic organization of supply chains for strategic minerals, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and batteries within 100 days. The administration also told the government departments to report back within a year about how those industries related to broader “industrial bases” for defense, green energy, public health, information technology, transportation and food.

The reports call for green industrial policy

The U.S. government reports argue that these critical dependencies could be reduced by an ambitious green industrial policy. By 2030, the U.S. agencies are targeting goals that 50 percent of vehicles sold in the United States will be electric, 30 gigawatts of offshore wind will be built in the United States (that’s about four times the annual energy use of New York City), battery storage costs will be reduced by 90 percent, production costs for green hydrogen (made from water and electricity) will be lower than fossil fuel-derived hydrogen, and 90 percent of the key mineral iridium will be recycled. The agencies recommend strengthening the federal government’s “Buy American” program, subsidizing green industries through the Defense Production Act and building stockpiles of clean energy like the United States has for petroleum, along with other measures.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/17/us-supply-chain-security-national-defense/

#Reuters: #Pentagon asks #Congress to fund mining projects in #Australia, #UK

The U.S. Department of Defense has asked Congress to let it fund facilities in the United Kingdom and Australia that process strategic minerals used to make electric vehicles and weapons, calling the proposal crucial to national defense.

The request to alter the Cold War-era Defense Production Act (DPA) came as part of the Pentagon’s recommendations to Congress for how to write the upcoming U.S. military funding bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/pentagon-asks-congress-fund-mining-projects-australia-uk-2022-05-11/

The Metals Company deep-water tests polymetallic nodule collector vehicle in Atlantic

The Metals Company, an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules, announced Tuesday it has completed initial deep-water trials of the polymetallic nodule collector vehicle in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mining international waters is in the spotlight as companies and countries are looking at minerals concentrated on the ocean floor that can be used in batteries for smart phones and electric vehicles. Last year, TMC said the nodule resource is now estimated at four megatons (Mt) measured, 341Mt indicated and 11Mt inferred mineral resources.

The Vancouver-based company said engineers successfully lowered the Allseas-designed collector vehicle to the seafloor at depths of 2,470 meters, marking the first time the vehicle had been subjected to ultra-deep-water temperatures and pressures. The company said engineers then subjected the vehicle to extensive testing of its various pumps and critical mobility functions, driving 1,018 meters across the seafloor.

Read more at: The Metals Company deep-water tests polymetallic nodule collector vehicle in Atlantic – MINING.COM

#Nickel, #Graphite make up half #Tesla’s battery emissions

According to the Tesla’s so-called Impact Report released on Friday, nickel is by far the biggest problem in its supply chain for batteries when it comes to emissions, outpacing CO2 created by cathode manufacture and cell assembly combined. 

Tesla said it commissioned London-based consulting and software firm Minviro “to identify hotspots with high global warming potential across eight specific processing routes from which we currently source cobalt, nickel and lithium.”

The report says Tesla sources over 95% of its lithium, 50% of its cobalt and 30% of its nickel directly and that “key drivers of CO2 in its global supply chain are the cathode and anode supply chains.” 

Cobalt represents only 1%, while lithium, responsible for 13%, makes a more modest contribution than anode material graphite with the company pointing out that “chemical processing (refining / smelting) was a larger driver than mining.”

GRAPH: Nickel, graphite make up half Tesla’s battery emissions – MINING.COM

#BBC – Mine e-waste, not the Earth, say scientists

New research by the RSC also revealed a growing demand from consumers for more sustainable technology. In an online survey of 10,000 people across 10 countries, 60% said they would be more likely to switch to a rival of their preferred tech brand if they knew the product was made in a sustainable way.

The survey also suggested that people did not know how to deal with their own e-waste. Many respondents said they worried about the environmental effect of unused devices they have in their homes, but did not know what to do with them or were concerned about the security of recycling schemes.

Elements in smartphones that could run out in the next century:

  • Gallium: Used in medical thermometers, LEDs, solar panels, telescopes and has possible anti-cancer properties
  • Arsenic: Used in fireworks, as a wood preserver
  • Silver: Used in mirrors, reactive lenses that darken in sunlight, antibacterial clothing and gloves for use with touch screens
  • Indium: Used in transistors, microchips, fire-sprinkler systems, as a coating for ball-bearings in Formula One cars and solar panels
  • Yttrium: Used in white LED lights, camera lenses and can be used to treat some cancers
  • Tantalum: Used in surgical implants, electrodes for neon lights, turbine blades, rocket nozzles and nose caps for supersonic aircraft, hearing aids and pacemakers.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-61350996

#Vale signs deal with #Tesla for #Canadian #Nickel

Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Friday it has signed a long-term deal with Tesla Inc to supply the U.S.-based electric vehicle maker with nickel from its Canadian operations.

Vale did not provide financial details on the deal and did not say how long it will last.

“We are pleased to have the leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla among our customers,” Deshnee Naidoo, Vale’s executive vice president of Base Metals, said in a release. “This agreement reflects a shared commitment to sustainability and shows very clearly we are the supplier-of-choice for low-carbon and high purity nickel products essential for long-range batteries.”

The Brazilian miner said in a securities filing that the agreement involves supplying Tesla with low-carbon Class 1 nickel and is in line with its strategy of increasing its exposure to the electric vehicle industry.

Read more at: Vale signs deal with Tesla for Canadian nickel | The Daily Press (timminspress.com)

#Canada in ‘active discussions’ with EV supply chain companies – Minister

OTTAWA, May 4 (Reuters) – Canada is talking to a number of companies interested in setting up production in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, the industry minister said, as the government seeks to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and play a role in the shift toward greener cars.

There are “very active discussions with a number of players” to develop an EV supply chain, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in an interview last week.

Canada is urging critical minerals producers and processors to scale up production. It has invested in EV projects through a multi-billion dollar fund set up in 2020, and last month pledged C$3.8 billion ($3 billion) over eight years to help boost the production and processing of critical minerals used for EVs.

Read more at: Canada in ‘active discussions’ with EV supply chain companies – minister | Reuters

#Mexico seeks #Lithium association with #Argentina, #Bolivia and #Chile

Mexico is working with governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to create a lithium association so the countries can share their expertise to exploit the battery mineral, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday.

“We’re going to work. We’re already doing so together on development, on exploration, processing, new technologies,” Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference.

Bolivia, Chile and Argentina sit atop the so-called “lithium triangle,” a region containing nearly 56% of the world’s resources of the metal, according to the most recent figures from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Read more at: Mexico seeks lithium association with Argentina, Bolivia and Chile | Financial Post

Enough #Nickel, #Lithium for 14 mln EVs in 2023 without Russian Nickel- #European climate group

May 3 (Reuters) – Data shows there is enough nickel and lithium to produce up to 14 million electric vehicles (EVs) globally in 2023, so Europe should secure more raw materials to shift away from oil faster, campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) said on Tuesday.

In a study based on BloombergNEF data on global maximum volumes of EV battery-grade nickel and lithium, T&E said that in 2025 there would be enough to make 21 million EVs globally.

Excluding Russian nickel, T&E said there should be sufficient raw materials for 19 million EVs in 2025.

Global EV sales more than doubled to 4.2 million vehicles in 2021 from just over 2 million in 2020.

Automotive consultancy LMC has forecast global EV sales will hit 9 million in 2023 and 14.2 million in 2025.

Read more at: Enough nickel, lithium for 14 mln EVs in 2023 – European climate group | Reuters

#TheWashingtonPost: #Biden order to boost mining may not have quick payoff

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is turning to a Cold War-era law to boost production of lithium and other minerals used to power electric vehicles, but experts say the move by itself is unlikely to ensure the robust domestic mining Biden seeks as he promotes cleaner energy sources.

Biden’s order directs the Defense Department to consider at least five metals — lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and manganese — as essential to national security and authorizes steps to bolster domestic supplies. Biden and former President Donald Trump both used the defense production law previously to speed the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On minerals, Biden wants to ensure the U.S. has enough lithium and other materials needed for EV batteries, heat pumps and large-capacity batteries for the electric grid. A majority of global lithium production comes from China, Australia, Argentina and Chile, while Russia dominates the global nickel market and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s largest cobalt producer.

“Unless the president streamlines permitting, we should not expect to see any meaningful increase in American mineral production,’’ said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. At a recent committee hearing. Barrasso urged Biden to “stand up to mining opponents in his own party.”

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has labeled California the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” and two projects there could produce lithium by 2024.

Read more at: Biden order to boost mining may not have quick payoff – The Washington Post

#Sumitomo Metal Mining Withdraws from #Indonesia #Nickel Project, which May Exacerbate Battery-Grade Nickel Supply Tightness

SHANGHAI, Apr 29 (SMM) – Japanese refined metals supplier Sumitomo Metal Mining has pulled out of a planned high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) project with PT Vale Indonesia, which could lead to further delays in the project, exacerbating supply risks to an already tight battery-grade nickel market. On April 25, Sumitomo Metal Mining announced the end of a nearly ten-year partnership with PT Vale to develop the project. Sumitomo Metal Mining said it had disagreements with PT Vale over construction timelines and costs. PT Vale is reportedly looking for new partners, without naming any specific companies. The two companies submitted an environmental impact study for the project as early as 2015, with construction originally expected to start in 2018 and production expected to commence in 2023. Initial plans included an annual production of 40,000 mt of mixed nickel sulphide. The nickel industry looks to HPAL technology to increase the supply of battery-grade nickel as growth from traditional sulphide sources is limited.

Read more at: Sumitomo Metal Mining Withdraws from Indonesia Nickel Project, which May Exacerbate Battery-Grade Nickel Supply Tightness _SMM | Shanghai Non ferrous Metals

Recycling needed to meet #Europe’s green metals needs-study

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – The European Union is likely to suffer severe shortfalls in lithium, rare earths and other metals needed to cut carbon emissions, but recycling could help plug the gap from 2040, according to a study released on Monday.

The issue has become even more critical due to the EU’s recent efforts to become less dependent on Russia for energy, the study commissioned by industry group Eurometaux said.

“The global energy transition is progressing faster than the mining project pipeline, with copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, and rare earths all at risk of a disruptive demand pull between now and 2035,” said the study by Belgium’s KU Leuven University.

The EU’s pledge to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 will require large amounts of metals and minerals to roll out electric vehicles and wind turbines.

The study said the bloc will need 35 times more lithium and seven to 26 times more rare earths by 2050, used in EV batteries and motors respectively.

“Europe needs to decide urgently how it will bridge its looming supply gap for primary metals,” said lead author Liesbet Gregoir.

Read more at: Recycling needed to meet Europe’s green metals needs-study | Reuters

Development of new magnet that reduces use of rare-earth element by 30%

Neodymium is an expensive and unstably supplied material, but it is essential for manufacturing rare-earth permanent magnets. In order to develop an Nd-reduced permanent magnet, the content of cerium (Ce), an inexpensive element, was increased, instead of reducing the content of Nd. Until now, with the increased content of Ce, deterioration of the magnetic properties was inevitable. The research team focused on clarifying the reason for and mechanism of the deterioration of the magnetic properties caused by the increased Ce content, and they successfully solved the problem of rare-earth-reduced permanent magnets by controlling the atomic-scale microstructure.

The researchers discovered that unnecessary magnetic particles were formed during the manufacturing process, the underlying reason for the deterioration of the magnetic and microstructural properties of the magnets. They modified the microstructure and enhanced the magnetic properties by preventing the diffusion of atoms so that the formation of unnecessary magnetic particles is suppressed.

The research team applied the melt-spinning method and the hot-deformation method, which have very fast cooling rates compared to the conventional process, to the process of fabricating rare-earth-reduced precursors and final bulk magnets, respectively. As a result, they succeeded in optimizing the microstructure of the magnets by suppressing the formation of unnecessary magnetic particles. In addition, they were able to simultaneously improve the residual magnetization and coercive force, which are the main properties of permanent magnets.

Read more at: Development of new magnet that reduces use of rare-earth element by 30% (phys.org)

#GM signs #Cobalt deal with #Glencore as rush for battery metals intensifies

April 12 (Reuters) – General Motors Co  said on Tuesday it would buy cobalt from miner Glencore PLC  to use in its electric vehicles (EVs), as automakers around the world scramble to stock up on the critical raw material amid supply chain disruptions.

Global automakers, ranging from EV leader Tesla Inc to Volkswagen  are splurging billions of dollars on developing vehicles for a market that could be worth $5 trillion over the next decade.

However, metals to make batteries that last longer hard to come by due to supply chain disruptions, which has led to automakers rushing to secure supplies of lithium, nickel and cobalt.

Read more at: GM signs cobalt deal with Glencore as rush for battery metals intensifies | Reuters

How #Trudeau proposes to make #Canada a key supplier of critical minerals

Chrystia Freeland’s second budget as finance minister proposes billions of dollars in new spending to incentivize more mining of critical minerals through investments in infrastructure, tax credits for exploration, and funding to help attract the downstream industries that turn those minerals into products such as electric vehicles and battery cells.

Critical minerals include not only the lithium, nickel and cobalt used in batteries, but a far wider array of elements, from copper to manganese. The budget proposes allocating at least $3.8 billion in cash, plus more in tax credits, between now and 2030, to develop a supply chain of critical minerals. Whether that investment sounds like too much money, or far too little, depends on how you view the threats posed by climate change and the urgency of the energy transition.

Much of the strategy outlined in the budget hinges on the idea that creating a supply chain will help attract industrial investment to Canada, and thus boost future economic growth. To that end, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government would spend up to $1.5 billion by 2030 on the infrastructure needed to get those materials from the ground to factories.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/how-trudeau-proposes-to-make-canada-a-key-supplier-of-critical-minerals

India: Simple Energy invests $150M on Lithium ion cell factory

Chennai: Electric vehicle startup Simple Energy, which is setting up its EV factory at Hosur (Tamil Nadu), will invest $150 million (around Rs 1136.5 crore) on a lithium ion cell manufacturing unit. The company has tied up with US-based battery company C4V for technology and knowhow.

Simple Energy’s flagship product, Simple One, will be produced at Phase I of the company’s manufacturing unit located at Hosur which has an annual production capacity of up to one million units. The factory will be operational in the coming weeks. The company has also commissioned a second plant in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu, which will have a capacity of 12.5 million units annually as part of its Phase 2 ramp up.

Read more at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/simple-energy-invests-150-mn-on-lithium-ion-cell-factory/articleshow/90693184.cms

President #Biden Poised to Use Cold-War Powers to Boost Battery Metals

President Joe Biden plans Thursday to invoke Cold War powers to encourage domestic production of critical minerals for electric-vehicle and other types of batteries, according to people familiar with the matter.

Adding minerals like lithium, nickel, graphite, cobalt and manganese to the list could help mining companies access $750 million under the Defense Production Act’s Title III fund, the people said. The move also could aid recycling of battery materials, one of the people said.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-30/biden-poised-to-invoke-cold-war-powers-to-boost-battery-metals

#India to invest in exploring #lithium, #cobalt mines in #Australia.

NEW DELHI — India has committed to jointly invest $6 million with the Australian government to explore lithium and cobalt mines in Australia over the next six months, in a bid to firm up supplies of key minerals needed to further its electric vehicle plans.

India’s KABIL, a mining joint venture between state-run firms National Aluminium Co, Hindustan Copper Ltd and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd, has signed a preliminary agreement with Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO), the Indian government said on Tuesday.

The move comes at a time when India is offering $2.4 billion of incentives for companies to build battery cells locally for electric vehicles. Lithium, whose price has surged in the recent days, is a key raw material used to make electric vehicle batteries.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/india-to-invest-in-exploring-lithium-cobalt-mines-in-australia

#Canada can help #Europe turn to renewables instead of #Russian oil

Hydrogen is still in the early stages as an energy industry in Canada — Canada is in the top 10 of hydrogen producers globally but makes about three million tonnes of it for industrial use. China, the world’s top producer, makes more than eight times that much.

But hydrogen was a major part of the conversation between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they met in Berlin Wednesday. 

“This is one aspect for a very long-term strategic co-operation between Canada and Germany, because we understand acutely that Canada is a country that can help us import hydrogen, which will be produced in an environmentally friendly manner,” Scholz said in German.

It is not entirely clear how Canada can quickly ramp up hydrogen production to supply Europe, or how Europe can quickly adjust its energy systems to use more hydrogen.

On March 21, the International Energy Agency is hosting a meeting in Paris to discuss options to help Europe. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is to attend.

At the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston Tuesday, Wilkinson also pitched Canada’s hydrogen but as a “medium- and longer-term opportunity.”

“Canada has huge opportunities associated with the production of ultralow carbon hydrogen,” he said. “Hydrogen will be important for domestic use but can also enable huge international opportunities for supply to geographies including Europe and Japan.”

Wilkinson pointed specifically to hydrogen projects announced recently, including an Air Products $1.3 billion net-zero hydrogen production and liquefaction facility, a joint venture into hydrogen between Suncor and ATCO, and an agreement between Mitsubishi and Shell Canada to produce hydrogen for export to Japan. 

Read more at: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/canada-can-help-europe-turn-to-renewables-instead-of-russian-oil-guilbeault/ar-AAUQWc6

#TheWhiteHouse: FACT SHEET- Securing a Made in America Supply Chain for Critical Minerals

Biden-Harris Administration, Companies Announce Major Investments to Expand Domestic Critical Minerals Supply Chain, Breaking Dependence on China and Boosting Sustainable Practices.

Critical minerals provide the building blocks for many modern technologies and are essential to our national security and economic prosperity. These minerals—such as rare earth elements, lithium, and cobalt—can be found in products from computers to household appliances. They are also key inputs in clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, global demand for these critical minerals is set to skyrocket by 400-600 percent over the next several decades, and, for minerals such as lithium and graphite used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, demand will increase by even more—as much as 4,000 percent. The U.S. is increasingly dependent on foreign sources for many of the processed versions of these minerals. Globally, China controls most of the market for processing and refining for cobalt, lithium, rare earths and other critical minerals.

Today, President Biden will meet with Administration and state partners, industry executives, community representatives, labor leaders, and California Governor Gavin Newsom to announce major investments in domestic production of key critical minerals and materials, ensuring these resources benefit the community, and creating good-paying, union jobs in sustainable production.

Read more at: FACT SHEET: Securing a Made in America Supply Chain for Critical Minerals | The White House

#Blockchain #RareEarth scheme to certify sustainable output for EVs

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – An EU-funded certification scheme using blockchain is being developed for rare earths as automakers demand proof that materials used to make magnets for electric vehicles (EVs) are not linked to toxic pollution.

The system will set global standards and give confidence to consumers demanding sustainable products, two of the organisers told Reuters ahead of an official announcement on Tuesday.

The Circular System for Assessing Rare Earth Sustainability or CSyARES is due to be ready in about three years, the Rare Earth Industry Association (REIA) and Dutch supply chain traceability firm Circularise said.

Read more at: Blockchain rare earth scheme to certify sustainable output for EVs | Reuters

#Tesla vs #Volkswagen vs #BYD – battery power, #Lithium, #Nickel, #Cobalt use

Tesla holds a wide lead. Tesla lectures in Paris, 1892. Stock image

Tesla deployed 27% of the world’s battery nickel, despite the fact that overall LFP accounts for more than a quarter of the kWh hours in all of its vehicles sold last year. Tesla still does not sell LFP-powered models in North America.  

Despite selling half the number of BEVs than Tesla, thanks to the absence of LFP in its line-up, Volkswagen deployed more cobalt and on a relative basis more metals across its brands. That’s in part due to high-performance vehicles like the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron, some of which come equipped with higher nickel NCM batteries where cobalt can represent up to 20% of the metal mix. 

Read more at: CHARTS: Tesla v Volkswagen v BYD – battery power, lithium, nickel, cobalt use – MINING.COM

#Ottawa looks on as #China buys #Canadian #Lithium operations

Efforts to strengthen Canada’s supply chains for critical minerals were undermined last week when our own government decided not to conduct a national security review into the purchase of a Canadian lithium producer by a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

The decision is bizarre. Lithium, which is on a list of 31 minerals that Ottawa says are critical to Canada’s economy, is imperative to modern manufacturing, including large-scale battery storage needed for clean energy transition and, significantly, batteries for the flourishing electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Now the Zijin Mining Group Ltd is cleared to buy Toronto-based Neo Lithium Corp.

China is establishing global dominance of high-tech manufacturing, including EVs, by having state-owned enterprises acquire foreign intellectual property, technologies and assets. Securing access to critical minerals is essential to that mission.

Read more at: Ottawa looks on as China buys Canadian lithium operations | The Star

How The #US Is Losing The #Lithium Industry To #China

In the early days of the oil industry, the U.S. quickly established dominance as the world’s most important producer and consumer of petroleum. But over time, depletion in the U.S. and discoveries abroad caused U.S. dominance of the petroleum industry to fade.

The U.S. received a rare second chance to regain energy independence as a result of the shale oil boom. But the lessons we have learned over the evolution of the oil industry have direct implications as the world transitions to new sources of energy.

Petroleum was the raw material that enabled the growth of the global transportation industry over the past century. But increasingly in the next century, it is lithium that will be the critical commodity. U.S. automakers aspire to have 40% to 50% of new vehicle sales by 2030 be electric vehicles (EVs). This will result in a tremendous increase in lithium consumption

It is estimated that the U.S. alone will need 500,000 metric tons per year of unrefined lithium by 2034 just to power EVs. The U.S. produces just a fraction of that today. The current global production of lithium in 2020 was about 440,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE, contains about 18% of pure lithium), and not all of that is in pure enough form for batteries.

But just as the U.S. eventually ceded its petroleum security to foreign countries, it is in the process of doing the same with lithium. According to the 2021 BP Statistical Review, China has 7.9% of the world’s lithium reserves. The U.S. has 4.0%. (The majority of global lithium reserves are in South America and Australia). Nevertheless, China has become the 3rd largest lithium producer in the world, outproducing the U.S. in 2020 by more than a factor of 15.

This dominance didn’t happen by accident. Over the past decade, China has spent over $60 billion to build its lithium industry. U.S. investments have lagged significantly behind, which has enabled China to build a robust lithium supply chain.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2022/01/11/the-us-is-losing-the-lithium-industry-to-china/?sh=48a63da16a15

#Nasdaq: Tesla signs deal for first #US #Nickel supply with #TalonMetals

Talon Metals plans to use technology it hopes will allow it to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and chemically bind it – and thus permanently store it – to rocks found inside its Tamarack project in northern Minnesota. The process, which is still being tested, would effectively let Talon market nickel as carbon neutral, a huge appeal for Musk and Tesla.

Read more at: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/tesla-signs-deal-for-first-u.s.-nickel-supply-with-talon-metals

#BBC Future: #Lithium batteries’ big unanswered question

“The current method of simply shredding everything and trying to purify a complex mixture results in expensive processes with low value products,” says Andrew Abbott, a physical chemist at the University of Leicester. As a result, it costs more to recycle them than to mine more lithium to make new ones. Also, since large scale, cheap ways to recycle Li batteries are lagging behind, only about 5% of Li batteries are recycled globally, meaning the majority are simply going to waste.

But as demand for EVs escalates, as it’s projected to, the impetus to recycle more of them is set to barrel through the battery and motor vehicle industry.

The current shortcomings in Li battery recycling isn’t the only reason they are an environmental strain. Mining the various metals needed for Li batteries requires vast resources. It takes 500,000 gallons (2,273,000 litres) of water to mine one tonne of lithium. In Chile’s Atacama Salt Flats, lithium mining has been linked to declining vegetation, hotter daytime temperatures and increasing drought conditions in national reserve areas. So even though EVs may help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over their lifetime, the battery that powers them starts its life laden with a large environmental footprint.

We can no longer treat the batteries as disposable – Shirley Meng

If the millions upon millions of Li batteries that will give out after around 10 years or so of use   are recycled more efficiently, however, it will help neutralise all that energy expenditure. Several labs have been working on refining more efficient recycling methods so that, eventually, a standardised, eco-friendly way to recycle Li batteries will be ready to meet skyrocketing demand.

“We have to find ways to make it enter what we call a circular lifecycle, because the lithium and the cobalt and nickel take a lot of electricity and a lot of effort to be mined and refined and made into the batteries. We can no longer treat the batteries as disposable,” says Shirley Meng, professor in energy technologies at the University of California, San Diego.

Read more at: Lithium batteries’ big unanswered question – BBC Future

#Vale Aims To Transform Misfiring Metals Division To Win Business Of #Tesla

Vale is greatest generally known as one of many world’s largest producers of iron ore from its sprawling Brazilian operations — however its chief government desires to alter that.

For Eduardo Bartolomeo, being seen as a “one geography, one mineral firm” is harmful and Vale must be attempting to spotlight the worth of its industrial metals enterprise, which he says has the potential to be a key provider of battery supplies to the North American automotive.

Attaining that can be no straightforward activity. To provide Tesla, Ford, Normal Motors and others with the required copper, nickel and cobalt to scale up manufacturing of electrical autos, Bartolomeo should rework the efficiency of the misfiring metals division.

“We predict we might be the provider alternative,” Bartolomeo instructed the Monetary Occasions throughout a latest go to to London to satisfy traders. “However we have to produce. We have to get the manufacturing up. That’s basic. Then we have to get the reserves and sources.

He has already made one decisive transfer, changing the top of the enterprise, Mark Travers, with Deshnee Naidoo, a former government at India’s Vedanta Assets.

However that is only a first step after, by his personal admission, one other difficult 12 months for the division in 2021, with a labour dispute in Canada, a fireplace on the Solobo copper mine and a short lived halt of nickel manufacturing at its Onca Puma challenge in Brazil. On high of that, 39 staff have been rescued after being trapped within the underground Totten mine in Ontario.

Whereas output is forecast to get well subsequent 12 months, Bartolomeo, who ran the base-metals enterprise earlier than he was appointed chief executive in April 2019, is aware of there may be plenty of work to do if Vale is to fulfil its ambition of capturing 30-40 per cent of the North American marketplace for battery-grade nickel in 5 years.

“We’re speaking to Ford, GM, we’re speaking to all of them,” he mentioned, mentioning that Vale had already struck a deal to promote 5 per cent of its annual highest-grade Class 1 nickel output to a US carmaker, broadly rumoured to be Tesla. A typical electric-vehicle battery pack wants about 35 kilogrammes of nickel, in response to the IMF, whereas charging stations require substantial quantities of copper.

Read more at: https://uk.universalpersonality.com/market/vale-aims-to-transform-misfiring-metals-division-to-win-business-of-tesla/

#China consolidates 3 #RareEarth miners into ‘aircraft carrier’

CHONGQING — China on Thursday announced the merger of three state-owned rare earth miners into a company that will control nearly 70% of the country’s output of key metals.

The new entity, China Rare Earth Group, brings together the rare-earth operations of Aluminum Corp. of China, China Minmetals and Ganzhou Rare Earth Group. The last is under the government of the Jiangxi Province city of Ganzhou, an area rich in these metals.

Beijing is tightening its grip on the country’s supply chain for rare earths, which are essential for a wide range of high-tech products, in preparation for prolonged tensions with the U.S. The news follows the announcement of a strategic partnership between China Northern Rare Earth (Group) High-Tech and China Rare Earth Holdings.

Chinese media reporting on the merger plans have called the combined company an “aircraft carrier” in reference to its sheer scale. It will hold almost 70% of China’s production quota for medium and heavy rare earths, and nearly 40% for rare earths as a whole including light elements, according to information released by Beijing.

Read more at: China consolidates 3 rare earth miners into ‘aircraft carrier’ – Nikkei Asia

#NYTimes: Why a #Chinese Company Dominates Electric Car Batteries

CATL has given China a commanding lead in electric car batteries, a technology central to the broader green revolution. The company already supplies batteries to almost all of the world’s automakers, including G.M., Volkswagen, BMW and Tesla. CATL has emerged as one of the biggest winners of the electric car boom, along with Tesla.

Chinese government officials made sure CATL’s business stayed in Chinese hands. They created a captive market of battery customers. And when CATL needed money, they doled it out.

“CATL definitely seems like it’s the concept and creation of a master plan,” said Michael Dunne, a former G.M. executive in Asia and now an analyst.

Read more at: How China’s CATL Became the Top Electric Car Battery Maker – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

#Vedanta Ltd acquires #Nickel and #Cobalt maker Nicomet in Goa

India to actually bead China to all – electric new -car pledge, targets 2030

Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd has acquired Nicomet, a Nickel and Cobalt producer based in Goa making Vedanta the sole producer of Nickel in India.

“India imports 100% of its Nickel requirements; our focus will be to boost domestic production that would fuel India’s transition to a Net Zero economy,” chairman Anil Agarwal said in a release on Monday.

India’s demand for nickel is currently pegged at 45 KTPA, as per reports, which is entirely met through imports. At present, Nicomet’s plant has a capacity to produce 7.5 KTPA Nickel & Cobalt.

Read more at:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/metals-mining/vedanta-ltd-acquires-nickel-and-cobalt-maker-nicomet-in-goa/articleshow/88389538.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Reuters: #China EV, battery makers grapple with #Graphite squeeze

Dec 15 (Reuters) – As they scour the globe for the lithium, nickel and cobalt resources needed to keep China on top in the electric vehicle (EV) stakes, Chinese battery and EV makers are fretting about supply of another mineral closer to home – graphite.

Graphite, in both natural and synthetic forms, is used for the negative end of a lithium-ion battery, known as the anode. Around 70% of all graphite comes from China, and there are few viable alternatives for batteries.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/china-ev-battery-makers-grapple-with-graphite-squeeze-2021-12-15/

#Reuters: #BHP completes first #Blockchain #Copper concentrate trade with #Minmetals

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Miner BHP Group (BHPB.L) has completed a $30 million blockchain trade in copper concentrate with China Minmetals Corp, online platform MineHub (MHUB.V) said on Tuesday.

The pilot transaction was the first cross-border shipment for copper concentrates using blockchain, MineHub said in a statement.

Read more at: BHP completes first blockchain copper concentrate trade with Minmetals | Reuters

#Africa – #China – #US: How #Cobalt has become new crude oil

China quickly realised that the emergence of companies like Tesla was driving the move from combustion fuelled engines. This led the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to have a combined daily production volume of 30.6m barrels of crude oil thereby placing non-producing western countries at risk.

China had to implement its energy policy through companies like CNOOC and SINOPEC in Africa, exchanging oil for infrastructure and loan deals as a means to secure the country’s energy future.

They also had to invest in the long term direction of funding state-backed enterprises that will strategically over the next decade, rise up to become the largest and highest producers of cobalt, an element mined from layers of copper and nickel, that are vital in making lithium-ion batteries in electric cars. As China could not get domestic companies to compete with Nissan and Tesla, a large supply of cobalt could be equally as useful.

While the US government has been concerned about the environmental, social and governance standards of American companies, and about the ‘boys club’ way of doing business that operates in Africa, the Chinese government has gotten into the trenches to acquire the basic assets necessary for a clean energy transition.

Workers have constantly complained about how their safety, social and economic standards have dropped at these mines since the Americans sold off and handed them over to the Chinese, which begs the question; shouldn’t safety and support of workers be considered important for sourcing the primary material necessary for a transition to clean energy?

Read more at: Africa – China – US: How cobalt has become new crude oil (theafricareport.com)

Can #Ontario boost #EV battery recycling before it’s too late?

First wave of electric vehicles is now coming off the roads — and its creating a thorny environmental predicament. Swapping gas-powered engines for battery-powered alternatives is essential if Canada is to meet emissions targets and avoid the worst effects of climate change. Lithium-ion batteries will become only more important in daily life, as the clean electrification of the power grid is a necessary step toward decarbonization. But that presents its own threats. Electric cars do not run on truly renewable energy: the batteries require finite materials that are mined from the earth at both an environmental and human cost. At the end of its lifespan, a discarded battery is dangerous to handle and can leak hazardous material in a landfill.

Roughly 3.4 million electric vehicles were produced globally in 2020. By 2024, some projections put the number near 13 million — others go even higher. The global market for EV batteries is projected to be worth nearly $1 trillion in 2030, when the International Energy Agency predicts that nearly one in three new vehicles on Canadian roads could be electric. “We have maybe 20 years before all the vehicles become electric,” says Asmae Mokrini, the team lead in materials for energy technology at the National Research Council’s lab in Boucherville, Quebec. “The actual supply chain will not withstand the transition without recyclable materials.”

Ontario is trying to carve out its place in the EV market. The 2021 budget highlighted $4.3 billion in investment from automakers to build electric vehicles in the province, introduced tens of millions for research in the sector, and announced a strategy for extracting battery minerals. The federal budget, announced Monday, likewise included funding for EV research and the mining of battery materials. But experts say that any strategy to become a leader in electric vehicles must include battery manufacturing and recycling.

Read more at: https://www.tvo.org/article/can-ontario-boost-ev-battery-recycling-before-its-too-late

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