Author Archives: Nanthakumar Victor Emmanuel, P.Eng. COO, CVMR Corporation

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

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