Category Archives: Energy

#India and #Canada likely to sign interim free trade deal this year

According to the officials, the interim negotiation with Canada is “progressing fast” and the two countries may sign a deal in the second half of this year.

India and Canada may sign an interim free trade deal by this year, the precursor to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), officials said after commerce minister Piyush Goyal and his Canadian counterpart Mary Ng reviewed the progress of ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries a day before the CEOs roundtable, held in Toronto on Tuesday.

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#Indonesia emerges as world’s second-largest #Cobalt producer

Indonesia has emerged as the world’s second-largest supplier of cobalt, contributing to a sharp fall in the price of the battery metal and adding to western anxieties about Beijing’s dominance across the electric car supply chain. The south-east Asian country generated 9,500 tonnes of cobalt last year — 5 per cent of the global supply — up from minimal volumes before 2021, according to an annual market report by the Cobalt Institute, an industry group. That means it has overtaken established producers Australia and the Philippines.

The surge in the supply of Indonesian cobalt — a byproduct from its rapidly growing nickel industry — has helped drive prices down from $40 per pound in April last year to about $15, according to Fastmarkets.

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#ElonMusk, #GregAbbott celebrate groundbreaking of #Tesla’s new #Texas facility

Tesla CEO Elon Musk traveled to Texas on Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s new lithium refinery that the electric vehicle maker hopes will give the company more control over its supply chain.

Musk said the facility, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the world, will produce lithium for “about a million vehicles” and have more lithium refining capacity than “the rest of North American refining capacity combined.” 

He explained that the refinery’s capacity could be expand.

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#Oklahoma Gov. Stitt sees growing foreign interest in investments in state

Oklahoma is seeing a sharp increase in foreign investment interest, especially in its renewable energy sector, and is on the cusp of signing large new deals with firms in Switzerland and Asia, Governor Kevin Stitt told Reuters on Wednesday.

“If you want a manufacturing center in the U.S., there’s not a better state to be located in than Oklahoma. We’re dead center located in the middle of the U.S.,” he said, citing a big push by countries and companies to diversify their supply chains and reduce reliance on China.

The state’s low energy costs – about one-third the cost of energy in Europe and the lowest in the United States – were a big draw, Stitt said, adding that Oklahoma derived about 45% of its electricity from renewable sources.

He said he had met recently with officials from Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan, France and Qatar, and was in talks with various firms about potential deals valued at around $1 billion, but ranging higher.

Japan’s Panasonic Holdings, a battery supplier to electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, said on Sunday it is considering building a battery plant in Oklahoma, its third in the United States.

Stitt said agriculture and rare earths production were other promising areas.

USA Rare Earth is investing heavily in a rare-earth metal manufacturing facility in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Stitt said.

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US-EU Critical Minerals Deal Would Give EU Broader Trade Relief

An agreement between the US and the European Union over critical minerals would unlock wider benefits than previously thought, with a deal paving the way to remove several more trade barriers introduced by President Joe Biden’s massive green subsidy law, according to people familiar with the matter.

An accord would essentially allow EU companies to take advantage of some of the benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act on the 50 minerals defined as critical in the law, said the people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Biden administration has said that nations with trade agreements with the US will be able access some of the IRA’s benefits, which will offer some $369 billion in handouts and tax credits over the next decade for clean-energy programs in North America. If the minerals accord is passed, it would act as the equivalent of a free-trade agreement and that status would in turn enable electric vehicles containing EU-extracted and processed critical minerals to be eligible for IRA subsidies, the people said.

The US Trade Representative’s office declined to comment.

An early draft of the EU-US minerals agreement lists five minerals — cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese and nickel — covered by that standalone accord, Bloomberg previously reported. Such a deal would echo one that the Biden administration signed last month with Japan.

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#Finland’s Fortum begins battery material recovery from EV ‘black mass’

Finnish utility Fortum said on Tuesday it has begun recovering raw materials from the “black mass” of electric vehicle batteries at its new recycling facility in Finland.

Black mass is the shredded material which comes from used batteries, which can include lithium, cobalt, and nickel. These metals can then be extracted and used to make new batteries.

Carmakers such as Tesla, Volkswagen and Stellantis are accelerating their drive to secure these scarce battery raw materials, while the European Union is tightening its regulation on recycling them.

Fortum said it had invested some 27 million euros ($30 million) in the new facility, which it called the first of a kind in Europe, in Harjavalta, southwestern Finland.

It said it would be able to recover 95% of the raw materials contained in the black mass of lithium-ion batteries, to produce a sulphate of nickel and cobalt for reuse in car batteries.

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#Japan to subsidize half the costs of #Lithium, critical minerals projects

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will subsidize up to half the cost of mine development and smelting projects for lithium and other critical minerals by Japanese companies, Nikkei Asia reported on Sunday.

Lithium, manganese, nickel, cobalt, graphite and rare earths are reportedly the main targets for support.

The initiative seeks to secure raw materials used in manufacturing electric car engines and batteries. Japan is planning to diversify its supply chains, as, like most countries, it is dependent on China for many key minerals.

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#Chile plans to nationalize its vast #Lithium industry

SANTIAGO, April 20 (Reuters) – Chile’s President Gabriel Boric said on Thursday he would nationalize the country’s lithium industry, the world’s second largest producer of the metal essential in electric vehicle batteries, to boost its economy and protect its environment.

The shock move in the country with the world’s largest lithium reserves would in time transfer control of Chile’s vast lithium operations from industry giants SQM and Albemarle to a separate state-owned company.

It poses a fresh challenge to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers scrambling to secure battery materials, as more countries look to protect their natural resources. Mexico nationalized its lithium deposits last year, and Indonesia banned exports of nickel ore, a key battery material, in 2020.

“This is the best chance we have at transitioning to a sustainable and developed economy. We can’t afford to waste it,” Boric said in an address televised nationwide.

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Will we have enough #Nickel for our #EVs in 2030?


Historically, close to 70 per cent of refined nickel went into the manufacturing of stainless steel. In recent years, demand for nickel has been shifting to its use in EV batteries. Electric-vehicle battery demand now accounts for 5 per cent of overall nickel production. A typical 60-kilowatt-hour EV battery contains 40 to 50 kilograms of nickel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, EVs will make up between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of new vehicle sales in 2030. In China, EV demand is projected to be similar.

Current global vehicle sales are in the 70 million to 80 million range. Using the 40-per-cent EV sales estimate, we would forecast total sales of 35 million electric vehicles by 2030. For comparison, the International Energy Agency estimates EV sales will then be around 45 million vehicles annually.

With the 40 to 50 kilograms of nickel per vehicle estimate, we would require between 1.5 million and two million tonnes of nickel annually for these EVs. Mining Weekly sees nickel output likely to reach 3.8 million tonnes in 2030. Brazilian mining company Vale SA sees demand as high as 6.2 million tonnes by 2030.


In the short term, increased Indonesian production, a slow Chinese reopening and recession fears are dampening the price of nickel. Looking further out, demand from EVs and other climate targets will cause a constrained supply that will require substantial price increases or a shift in technology.

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#Apple will use 100 percent recycled #Cobalt in batteries by 2025

PRESS RELEASE April 13, 2023

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced a major acceleration of its work to expand recycled materials across its products, including a new 2025 target to use 100 percent recycled cobalt1 in all Apple-designed batteries. Additionally, by 2025, magnets in Apple devices will use entirely recycled rare earth elements, and all Apple-designed printed circuit boards will use 100 percent recycled tin soldering and 100 percent recycled gold plating. 

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