Category Archives: Energy

#WSJ: Battery Metals Are Hot, but These Miners Can’t Get Investors

Small mining companies in North America are struggling to attract funding, despite growing demand for lithium and cobalt for electric vehicles and batteries.

TORONTO—Investors are pouring money into car companies, battery makers and clean-tech startups that are poised to benefit from the global economy’s shift to electric power. But many small mining companies that supply the raw materials haven’t been invited to the party.

Uncertainty over the metals’ quality, the short- and long-term outlook for prices and the ability of North American miners to compete with their Chinese counterparts is making investors wary.

Bryce Crocker, the chief executive officer of Jervois Mining Ltd., is touting a cobalt project in Idaho. The Australian executive needs $100 million to open a mine on central Idaho’s Gant Mountain that the company says could eventually produce more than 15% of the cobalt consumed annually in the U.S. The blue-gray mineral is critical to making the batteries that power electric vehicles, laptops and smartphones as well as the alloys used to make jet-fighter engines.

After more than a year of fundraising, he is still seeking contributions from commercial banks, private-equity firms and hedge funds.

“We need the support of the capital markets,” he said. “But this is not a commodity that lenders have traditionally loaned against.”

Read more at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/battery-metals-are-hot-but-these-miners-cant-get-investors-11619175601

#CNNNews: Why #copper and #lithium could be ‘the new oil’

London (CNN Business)For decades, crude oil has been at the center of global commodities markets. Demand has served as a crucial metric of economic health, and price spikes have had major ramifications for gas-guzzling consumers.

But as countries around the world try to combat the climate crisis, oil could take a backseat, while metals like copper and lithium gain prominence.

“The critical role copper will play in achieving the Paris climate goals cannot be overstated,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a recent research note titled “Copper is the new oil.”

Read more at: https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/investing/premarket-stocks-trading/index.html

#bloomberg: First #India EV Battery Plant Takes Shape to Cut #China Dependence

India’s biggest steel tycoon is betting big on converting coal tar into graphite anodes for electric-car batteries in a bid to test China’s monopoly in the sector.

Epsilon Advanced Materials Pvt– India’s first manufacturer of lithium-ion battery parts — plans to invest 60 billion rupees ($807 million) to produce 100,000 tons of synthetic graphite anode by 2030, or about 10% of estimated global demand.

Anode materials are the negative electrode in lithium-ion batteries and account for a quarter of a cell’s components. China has been producing more than 80% of the world’s supply of these anodes, importing raw materials from countries including India. By producing the anodes in India, Epsilon Advanced Materials Pvt aims to transition the South Asian nation from a battery minerals center to a battery materials hub.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-08/first-india-ev-battery-plant-takes-shape-to-cut-china-dependence

#GM offers clues to technology aimed at slashing EV battery costs

GM is experimenting with silicon-rich and lithium metal anodes, solid state and high voltage electrolytes, and dry processing of electrodes for its next generation of Ultium batteries, due around 2025.

The competition to fine-tune proprietary technology to cut electric vehicle battery costs is replacing horsepower wars as the battleground for deciding the industry’s winners and losers.

GM has said it aims to reduce battery cell cost to well under $100 per kilowatt-hour by 2025, compared with more than $150/kW today. GM executives also have said the company expects its future EV batteries to last for a million miles or more, with driving ranges of 500-600 miles (805 to 965 km) between charges.

That battery, which will be used in new GM electric vehicles such as the Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, uses graphite-based anodes, nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) cathodes and liquid electrolyte.

GM said “the supply chain is going to explode” with demand for cobalt, nickel and other metals as GM and competitors ramp up EV production over the next five years.

Read more at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gm-offers-clues-technology-aimed-201625572.html

#MIT News: Study reveals plunge in #lithium-ion battery costs

The cost of the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used for phones, laptops, and cars has fallen dramatically over the last three decades, and has been a major driver of the rapid growth of those technologies. But attempting to quantify that cost decline has produced ambiguous and conflicting results that have hampered attempts to project the technology’s future or devise useful policies and research priorities.

Now, MIT researchers have carried out an exhaustive analysis of the studies that have looked at the decline in the prices these batteries, which are the dominant rechargeable technology in today’s world. The new study looks back over three decades, including analyzing the original underlying datasets and documents whenever possible, to arrive at a clear picture of the technology’s trajectory.

The researchers found that the cost of these batteries has dropped by 97 percent since they were first commercially introduced in 1991. This rate of improvement is much faster than many analysts had claimed and is comparable to that of solar photovoltaic panels, which some had considered to be an exceptional case. 

Read more at: https://news.mit.edu/2021/lithium-ion-battery-costs-0323

#Nickel demand for #EVs to outpace #lithium and #cobalt

As a key component of battery cathode chemistry in many existing and upcoming electric vehicles (EVs), nickel will remain an important metal to watch in the coming decade, market analyst Fitch Solutions maintains in its latest industry report.

Impact of EV battery manufacturing on nickel consumption and now expects nickel demand for EV battery manufacturing to experience an annual average growth rate of 29% over 2021-2030, outpacing both lithium and cobalt demand, the analyst says.

The analyst also maintains the underlying assumption that NMC 811 cathodes will rise to 80.0% of NMC market share by 2027, which will effectively raise the average nickel content from 34.6kg to 44.5kg for each NMC cathode produced.

Automakers such as BMW, Hyundai and Renault use the NMC chemistry in their vehicles.

NMC cathodes once featured equal proportions of nickel, manganese, and cobalt, a blend called NMC 111. Over time, battery makers have increased nickel and reduced cobalt, using thermal management systems and electronics that regulate charging and discharging to reduce degradation of the cathode material. The latest generation of this formulation, with an 8:1:1 ratio of nickel to manganese to cobalt.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/nickel-demand-for-evs-to-outpace-lithium-and-cobalt-report/

European Commission: Electric Cars Will Cost More Using Ethically Sourced Batteries

The European Union’s efforts to ethically source a key battery metal face headwinds that could make it more expensive for automakers to go electric.

“If, as proposed by the European Commission, due diligence on cobalt supply chain will be mandatory for batteries sold in the EU markets in the near future, the demand for responsibly sourced cobalt will increase rapidly,” the study prepared by the EU’s Joint Research Centre said.

But those “ambitious requirements might currently be too difficult,” according to an assessment prepared by researchers advising the European Commission. The report, which will be published by Elsevier Ltd.’s Resources Policy journal in June, suggests a tightening market for responsibly-sourced cobalt.

By 2030, EU economies need to secure more than 64,000 tons of ethically-sourced cobalt beyond existing supply-chain constraints, a volume of metal worth around $3.2 billion at current prices, to fuel the transition to electric vehicles. The run on the metal’s price is prompting mining companies to seek new reserves from Australia to the deep sea.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-13/electric-cars-will-cost-more-using-ethically-sourced-batteries

Energy Secretary Granholm says U.S. needs to produce more EV minerals

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday said the United States needs to boost domestic production of the minerals used to make electric vehicles, so long as it is done sustainably.

Granholm also suggested coal miners – who have been affected by falling demand from the power-generation sector – could transition to digging for EV metals.

“Having (coal workers) mine for critical materials is a natural shift for them,” said Granholm, a former Michigan governor who was confirmed last month as secretary.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mining-granholm-idINKBN2B12QA

#BHP moves #nickel and #copper HQ to #Toronto as #Canada emerges as new clean-tech mining hotspot

Australia’s BHP Group Ltd. is moving its exploration headquarters for nickel and copper — two metals expected to see increased future demand because of electric vehicle industry growth — to Toronto.

The company’s announcement Wednesday comes after a BHP subsidiary Rio Algom Ltd. struck a partnership in August with Canadian junior Midland Exploration Inc. to fund nickel exploration in northern Quebec.

Read more at: https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/bhp-moves-nickel-and-copper-hq-to-toronto-as-canada-emerges-as-new-mining-hotspot

#bloomberg: World’s Top #Nickel Producer, #indonesia, Sets Out End-to-End Battery Ambition

Indonesia laid down its plans to have a complete battery production line onshore, with a state-owned holding firm to be set up by June.

The country has drafted an “end-to-end development” plan that would see four state firms supplying nickel ore, processing nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate, and then producing cathodes and batteries, Agus Tjahajana, who heads the task force on electric-vehicle development, said in a Thursday seminar.

Resource-rich Indonesia, home to a quarter of the world’s nickel reserves, has set its sights on moving up the supply chain to become a global hub for battery-making. The surge in demand for batteries, used to power everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles, has become a tailwind for Southeast Asia’s largest economy as it seeks a way out of a recession.

Top Battery Makers Discuss $20 Billion Indonesia EV Plans (1)

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-14/top-battery-makers-in-talks-over-20-billion-indonesia-ev-plans

« Older Entries Recent Entries »