Category Archives: Energy

West could end reliance on #Chinese batteries by 2030, says #GoldmanSachs

The US and Europe can cut their dependence on China for electric vehicle batteries through more than $160bn in new capital expenditure by 2030, Goldman Sachs has forecast. EV batteries are one of the core technologies giving rise to concern across western capitals over dependence on China.

Following years of deep state support and a desire by Beijing to cut its own reliance on oil imports, China produces three quarters of the world’s batteries and also dominates production of their materials and components. However, according to a report to clients, seen by the Financial Times, the investment bank’s analysts believe a stark pivot to protectionism in Washington and Brussels, combined with an unprecedented spending spree by non-Chinese companies, have the potential to extricate the west from its reliance on Beijing over the next seven years.

To obtain a self-sufficient supply chain, countries competing with China would need to spend $78.2bn for batteries, $60.4bn in components and $13.5bn in mining of lithium, nickel and cobalt, as well as $12.1bn in refining of those materials, the report calculated. The bank’s analysts believe demand for finished batteries could be met without China within the next three to five years, largely thanks to big investments in the US by South Korean conglomerates LG and SK, who have been attracted by massive subsidies from US taxpayers. LG Chem said on Tuesday it would invest more than $3bn to build a battery cathode factory in Tennessee, the biggest of its kind in the US. Goldman forecasts that the market share of the Korean battery makers in the US will soar to around 55 per cent in three years, from 11 per cent in 2021.

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August means huge tax benefits and other subsidies for localising battery supply chains and fuelling the uptake of EVs. Goldman expects the “average eligible EV in the US” will receive more than $10,000 in benefits from the IRA.

Read more at: https://www.ft.com/content/458ebaf3-c1ee-499c-b7f3-2e5d7f1bb6df

#US, #Philippines to Negotiate Nuclear Power Tech-Sharing Pact

The US and the Philippines will open talks on a deal for the Asian nation to build nuclear power plants with American technology, Vice President Kamala Harris announced.

In a bid to boost the supply chain for critical minerals, the US also will support development of a nickel and cobalt processing facility in the Philippines.

The facility will expand the Philippines’ production of refined nickel and cobalt by 20,000 metric tons per year and enhance sustainable development of those critical minerals, the White House said.

Read more at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-philippines-negotiate-nuclear-power-220000147.html

#Vale inks #Nickel deal with #GM that could be worth $760M a year

Industry giant Vale has landed its first large-scale electric vehicle battery deal in North America, supplying nickel to power a slew of General Motors’ cars and trucks, the companies said on Thursday.

The deal for 25,000 tonnes per year of nickel works out to about $762 million per year using a September average metal spot price of about $30,500 per tonne, though both companies declined to state the agreement’s dollar value in a joint news release. They called it a long-term deal, but didn’t say how many years. 

The nickel is to come from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour near Trois-Rivières, Que., a first-of-its-kind facility for Canada and North America, Vale said. It will wind up in electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado EV, the Cadillac LYRIQ and the GMC HUMMER EV pickup. The supply will outfit about 350,000 electric vehicles per year, the companies said. Nickel deliveries are planned to start in the second half of 2026.

Read more at: https://www.northernminer.com/news/vale-inks-nickel-deal-with-gm-that-could-be-worth-760-million-a-year/1003848685/

U.S. military weighs funding mining projects in #Canada amid rivalry with China

Canadian companies told they qualify under Defense Production Act.

The United States military has been quietly soliciting applications for Canadian mining projects that want American public funding through a major national security initiative.

It’s part of an increasingly urgent priority of the U.S. government lessening dependence on China for critical minerals that are vital in everything from civilian goods such as electronics, cars and batteries, to weapons.

It illustrates how Canadian mining is becoming the nexus of a colossal geopolitical struggle. Ottawa just pushed Chinese state-owned companies out of the sector, and the U.S. is now considering moving public funding in.

Read more at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-military-mining-projects-canada-1.6649522

#Indonesia proposes to #Canada setting up #OPEC-like group for #Nickel

JAKARTA — Indonesia has proposed in talks with Canada establishing an OPEC-like organization for nickel producing countries, the Southeast Asian nation’s investment ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Indonesia and Canada are the first and sixth biggest nickel producers in the world, respectively.

The proposal was made when Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia met Canada’s International Trade Minister Mary Ng on Tuesday on the sideline of the G20 summit in Bali.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/indonesia-proposes-to-canada-setting-up-opec-like-group-for-nickel

#Canada orders #Chinese companies to divest stake in #Lithium mines

Canada’s government ordered three Chinese firms to divest from a trio of small lithium miners based in the country, days after introducing tougher rules on foreign investments in the nation’s critical minerals sectors.

Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co. Ltd. is required to divest in Vancouver-based Power Metals Corp., while Chengze Lithium International Ltd. must exit from Calgary-based Lithium Chile Inc. and Zangge Mining Investment (Chengdu) Co. Ltd., was ordered to divest from Ultra Lithium Inc., based in Vancouver, Canada’s federal government said Wednesday in a statement.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-02/canada-orders-three-chinese-firms-to-divest-from-country-s-lithium-miners?leadSource=uverify%20wall

The #US Just Can’t Match #China’s Industrial Heft

The American attempt at an industrial policy to build electric vehicles and batteries has, once again, fallen flat. The recently released list of firms selected for $2.8 billion of funding shows as much. They look more like late-stage R&D projects than companies ready to scale.

It’s unclear where the supplies of nickel, lithium and cobalt will come from, or how the US plants will scale up, because most of the investment has been allocated toward yet-to-be fully-proven powerpack technology that’s still not commercially viable. In the meantime, large battery makers have announced big plans — and they too will require supplies. 

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/the-us-just-cant-match-chinas-industrial-heft/2022/10/31/2dfbd4b0-5968-11ed-bc40-b5a130f95ee7_story.html

#Indonesia considers #Opec-style cartel for battery metals

Indonesia is studying the establishment of an Opec-like cartel for nickel and other key battery metals, highlighting the geopolitical confidence of nations that are rich in resources needed to make electric cars.

Indonesia is the world’s largest nickel producer, generating 38 per cent of global refined supply, according to consultancy CRU. It holds a quarter of the world’s reserves of the metal.

Read more at: https://www.ft.com/content/0990f663-19ae-4744-828f-1bd659697468

U.S. must build EV batteries and advanced technologies at home

In August, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, making a historic investment to rebuild industries that the U.S. invented but allowed China and other nations to capture. The legislation includes important production tax credits for critical mineral producers and refiners as well as manufacturers. But more is needed, including permitting reform, to gain energy independence from hostile nations such as China.

Credit Suisse estimates that the legislation’s tax incentives — combined with ensuing private capital investments — may total $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. Having kicked off this green gold rush, it behooves us to now think about protecting these investments.

A particular threat is China’s domination of the world’s mineral supply chains, thanks to Beijing’s massive subsidies and predatory trade behavior.  World Trade Organization rules have proved fruitless in dissuading Beijing from using its alarming grip on raw materials as a source of geopolitical leverage.

This will undoubtedly affect America’s electric vehicle (EV) ambitions. The building blocks for EVs are still largely imported — even as demand for key battery metals is exploding. It’s predicted that by 2040, the demand for EV inputs of lithium, nickel, graphite and cobalt could increase by a staggering 30 times. Unfortunately, China has already established a stranglehold on these resources, since Beijing controls 70% of the world’s lithium supplies and almost all of the world’s graphite. Especially concerning is China’s control of cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo that use child labor.

Read more at: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/oct/25/us-must-build-ev-batteries-and-advanced-technologi/

#Vale CEO says iron ore miner will spin-off #Copper, #Nickel unit

The chief executive of Vale SA said on Friday the Brazilian iron ore miner is reconsidering a near-term spin-off of its base metals business and an eventual public listing.

The Brazilian miner had a longstanding plan to sell the unit that was still being considered as recently as 2021.

But rather than selling all or part of it, the company is now looking to separate and ring-fence the copper and nickel unit from the iron ore business as the two have different growth prospects, Eduardo Bartolomeo said at the FT Mining Summit.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/vale-ceo-says-iron-ore-miner-will-spin-off-copper-nickel-unit-2022-10-21/

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