Category Archives: Energy

Who Says #China Has Locked in the EV Supply Chain?

This latest chemistry, LMFP, and promise to commercialize it, could be yet another game changer.In its latest formulation, manganese will boost the energy density of LFPs, allowing them to take vehicles further along (while remaining the safer and cheaper option.)  In CATL’s case, the voltage will increase from 3.2 volts to 4.1 volts. Such chemistry could provide up to 25% more energy density, according to a subsidiary of Lithium Australia that has also been working to adjust its own manufacturing processes to boost battery performance. CATL’s cells will be mass produced by the end of this year with a potential energy density of 230 Wh/kg, compared to 150Wh/kg to 180Wh/kg. That’s substantial given range anxiety and charging infrastructure remain the biggest barriers to widespread consumer adoption.

Manganese — and its effectiveness in electrochemistry — is often forgotten because of its low cost as a portion of the whole battery compared to that of other metals like nickel and cobalt. It’s used in higher energy density batteries, or the nickel cobalt formulation but in smaller amounts than the other elements. Those powerpacks, while also popular and a favorite of South Korean manufacturers, have been involved in fires and aren’t considered as stable despite being able to take vehicles further. Other combinations exist too, like the increasingly promising lithium nickel manganese oxide, or LNMO. In the past, one persistent issue with using manganese was that the battery would have a limited life cycle and high resistance, meaning it gets too hot and voltage drops. CATL’s version (and others) seem to have overcome this. 

 India, for instance, could become a key supply chain risk mitigator. It has vast untapped reserves. Of the more than 140 or so mines, several are currently inactive and almost half the production comes from two dozen public sector mines. Most of the ore is suitable for steel and other more basic uses. Only a tiny portion is battery-grade, however it can be processed and purified in to a battery-friendly form. An Indian government committee last month recommended exploring manganese reserves and boosting R&D efforts to explore the use of the metal for powerpacks, hopefully leading to increased policy support. Putting all this to work effectively could give India a spot in the global supply chain.

Read more at: Who Says China Has Locked in the EV Supply Chain? – The Washington Post

NGOs ask Musk to not invest in Indonesia’s nickel industry over environmental worries

July 25 (Reuters) – Dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have sent an open letter to Elon Musk, urging the Tesla Inc’s chief to not invest in Indonesia’s nickel industry on environmental concerns.

The letter by the NGOs, including Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) and Friends of the Earth United States, follows Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s meeting with Musk in Texas in May to discuss potential investments.

Indonesia has the world’s biggest nickel reserves and Widodo is keen to develop a nickel-based EV industry at home. The government banned export of unprocessed nickel ore from 2020 to ensure supply for investors.

However, environmentalists are concerned that the process would involve disposing off mining waste into the ocean.

The NGOs said in the letter that environmental damage results from the total area of the forest converted to nickel mining, causing increased deforestation and the threats of polluted water in the river, lake, and the beach.

Read more at: NGOs ask Musk to not invest in Indonesia’s nickel industry over environmental worries | Reuters

South China Mining Post: #US-led rare earths pact satisfies #SouthKorea’s ‘definite need’ to cut #China dependency.

South Korea has its own rare earth reserves, but does not possess the relevant production capabilities – although in recent years it has moved to produce rare earth magnets.

South Korea’s decision to join a US-led pact on mineral supply helps satisfy a “definite need” to cut dependency on China for key resources, including rare earths, analysts said.

Securing key resources has become a core task for major economies around the world, as minerals are a crucial element incorporated into cutting-edge technologies, green energy and national defence industries.

Countries have traditionally relied on China as it not only holds the largest amount of rare earth reserves, but it also is the world’s biggest producer.

But China’s recent moves to regulate the mining and exports of rare earths has had economies scrambling to secure alternative supplies, with the US-led Minerals Security Partnership launched earlier this month.

Read more at: US-led rare earths pact satisfies South Korea’s ‘definite need’ to cut China dependency | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)

One of World’s Biggest #Cobalt Mines Is at Stake in #Congo Fight

A dispute over one of the biggest copper and cobalt mines is escalating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, threatening to disrupt exports of essential battery materials and raising questions about the project’s future.

A top executive from state mining company Gecamines said that partner CMOC Group Ltd. owes $7.6 billion in overdue payments, and even accused the Chinese metals producer and trader of posing a threat to national security. CMOC said it denies the allegations, “strongly” opposes what it views as unjustified attacks and will defend its rights and interests.

Read more at: One of World’s Biggest Cobalt Mines Is at Stake in Congo Fight – Bloomberg

#Yellen urges less dependence on other nations for key supplies during #Canada trip

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. should work on shifting its dependence away from some rival nations for supplies of critical inputs as global supply-chain logjams have hurt the domestic economy.

Canada is a potential source of some products that countries have for many years obtained from China and Russia, Freeland said.

“What we can really contribute in a world of friend-shoring is critical metals and minerals and energy,” she said.

The U.S. already imports many minerals from Canada, including cobalt, nickel, aluminum and graphite. Freeland pointed out her government has earmarked $3.8 billion in its federal budget to implement a new critical minerals strategy over eight years.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/news/economy/yellen-urges-less-dependence-on-other-nations-for-key-supplies

#TheWashingtonPost: How a Battery Metals Squeeze Puts EV Future at Risk

The world’s epic shift into electric vehicles needs to overcome a major obstacle: how to meet rocketing demand for batteries, the vital component, while cutting the cost to help the cars go mainstream. Factory lines churning out power packs to fuel a clean energy future are being built faster than strained supply chains can keep up. A global rush to lock in stocks of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other key ingredients from a handful of nations has sent prices hurtling higher.

There are major concerns over China’s industry-wide dominance and moves in some other countries to restrict mineral exports in hopes of building their own manufacturing base. It’s a scenario that risks slowing the pace of EV adoption.

1. Why the shortages? 

2. What’s the fallout? 

3. Which minerals are in focus?

4. How will this affect the EV transition?

How a Battery Metals Squeeze Puts EV Future at Risk – The Washington Post

#Bloomberg: #Nickel Royalty Helps #Burundi Boost Its Spending Plan by 40%

https://burundi-agnews.org/economie/burundi-le-canadien-cvmr-investit-40-millions-usd-pour-le-nickel/

Burundi plans to increase its national budget by almost 40% for the fiscal year starting July as it eyes revenue from a nickel concession it awarded to a new partner.

Burundi, which has an estimated 6% of the world’s known nickel deposits, awarded a mining concession to East African Regional Projects. The deal involves remitting $1.5 billion to the government annually, with the first $500 million expected soon. 

The government plans to increase investment in farming and infrastructure, including starting to build a railroad to neighboring Tanzania, according to the statement.

The nation’s economy may grow by 3.6% this year and 4.6% in 2023, according International Monetary Fund estimates. 

Read more at: Nickel Royalty Helps Burundi Boost Its Spending Plan by 40% – Bloomberg

#VW CEO Follows #GM’s Lead, Aims To Overtake #Tesla’s Sales By 2025

Multiple automakers are aiming for Tesla, but supply chain issues are making it difficult to forecast what lies ahead.

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” this week at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. He noted that VW still plans to catch up and potentially overtake Tesla on EV sales by 2025.

Tesla is the global leader when it comes to electric cars, and it’s growing rapidly, even amid factory shutdowns and supply chain constraints. Diess shared that once the supply chain issues are resolved, it should help Volkswagen to start ramping up momentum once again.

Read more at: VW CEO Follows GM’s Lead, Aims To Overtake Tesla’s Sales By 2025 (msn.com)

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

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