Category Archives: Metals

Vale Strike at #Canadian Mine Strains Battery #Nickel Supply

A strike at Vale SA’s Sudbury operations in Canada is taxing a nickel market that’s key to powering electric vehicles.

Sudbury is one of the world’s few producers of nickel pellet, a form used to produce alloys for aerospace, electronic and nuclear industries. Production at Vale’s northeast Ontario operation halted when unionized workers went on strike on June 1. The disruption is driving consumers to tap battery-grade nickel briquette as an alternative.

That shift is increasing competition for briquette, pushing up North American premiums, or extra charges consumers pay on top of nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange, as stockpiles of the metal dwindle. Inventories of briquette, the main form of nickel stored at LME warehouses, have fallen 9% since a peak in April and are now at the lowest in more than a year.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-29/strike-at-vale-s-sudbury-operation-strains-battery-nickel-supply

#Australia, #US and #Canada launch interactive map for critical minerals

MELBOURNE, June 29 (Reuters) – Australia said it has teamed up with the United States and Canada to launch an interactive map of deposits of rare earths and other critical minerals that are expected to be in hot demand as the world moves to cleaner forms of energy.

The website contains the world’s largest dataset of minerals such cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements and has more than 7,000 mineral samples from over 60 countries which could help identify new areas of critical minerals.

The data can be used by governments to identify options to diversify their critical minerals sources and by companies to better target their exploration strategies, Keith Pitt, the minister for resources, water and northern Australia, said in a statement.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/technology/australia-us-canada-launch-interactive-map-critical-minerals-2021-06-29/

#Sumitomo Metal sees global #nickel demand for battery use to rise 18% in 2021

TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) – Global demand of nickel used in batteries is expected to rise 18% this year from 2020, backed by strong sales of electric-vehicles (EVs) in China, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Japan’s biggest nickel smelter, said on Tuesday.

Sumitomo Metal, which supplies cathode materials for Panasonic lithium ion batteries that are used in Tesla EVs, said demand of nickel used in rechargeable batteries will increase to 228,000 tonnes in 2021 from 193,000 tonnes in 2020.

Nickel is mainly used in stainless steelmaking, but is also a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs, where demand is set to accelerate over coming years.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/sumitomo-metal-sees-global-nickel-demand-battery-use-rise-18-2021-2021-06-29/

#Indonesia drawing plans to restrict nickel pig iron, ferronickel smelters

JAKARTA (Reuters) -Indonesia is considering a plan to restrict construction of smelters producing nickel pig iron or ferronickel in order to optimize use of its limited nickel ore reserves for higher-value products, a senior mining ministry official said on Thursday.

Indonesia is currently the biggest producer of the two crude metals, and a restriction on more smelters coming online could hit Chinese stainless steel producers who are among biggest customers for Indonesia’s relatively cheaper materials.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/indonesia-nickel/update-1-indonesia-drawing-plans-to-restrict-nickel-pig-iron-ferronickel-smelters-idUSL2N2O60EZ

#Glencore to Reopen One of World’s Biggest #Cobalt Mines in #Congo

(Bloomberg) — Glencore Plc could reopen its Mutanda Mining copper and cobalt project in Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of 2021, about two years after idling the mine.

Congo’s new mines minister, Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi met with representatives from the Swiss company Monday to discuss the restart of the mine, which closed in November 2019, the ministry said in a statement sent to reporters. Mutanda “will start the commissioning of operations towards the end of this year in order to allow the return to production in 2022,” Glencore said in a separate emailed statement.

Read more at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/glencore-reopen-one-world-biggest-202121574.html

#WSJ: U.S. Plans to Spend Big on Critical Minerals; Choosing Where Isn’t Easy

The U.S. has pumped millions of dollars into researching how to extract rare-earth minerals from abandoned coal fields, an approach some say won’t work. The Pentagon has invested in a U.S.-based rare-earth magnets manufacturer that sources many of its products from China. Canada has put money into a 21-year-old mining company that has never mined and handed an option to control its main asset to a business run by the chief executive’s son.

The U.S. and other Western governments are rushing to secure domestic supplies of materials including rare earths, lithium and boron, which are essential for growing technologies such as electric vehicles, satellites and wind turbines. They also want to develop the capability to process them.

The Senate this month approved a bipartisan, $250 billion bill to boost government spending on technology research and development to catch up with China, including funds for digging up and processing critical minerals at home and with allied nations.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-plans-to-spend-big-on-critical-minerals-choosing-where-isnt-easy-11624186800

A #nickel refinery tops #US battery metals wish list

The United States government should invest in nickel refining capacity in coordination with its allies, according to the Biden Administration’s 100-day review of critical supply chains.

“If there are opportunities for the U.S. to target one part of the battery supply chain, this would likely be the most critical to provide short- and medium-term supply chain stability,” the report said.

It’s an unexpected priority. Nickel isn’t on the U.S. list of critical minerals. Although the country depends on imports, 68% of supplies come from what the report calls “allied nations” such as Canada, Australia, Norway and Finland.

Read more at: https://www.mining.com/web/home-a-nickel-refinery-tops-us-battery-metals-wish-list/?utm_source=Daily_Digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MNG-DIGESTS&utm_content=home-a-nickel-refinery-tops-us-battery-metals-wish-list

#NASDAQ: Johnson Matthey, Nano One In Development Agreement For #Lithium-ion Battery Materials

Johnson Matthey Plc. (JMAT.L), a provider of sustainable technologies, and Nano One Materials Corp., a clean technology innovator in battery materials, announced Thursday a joint development agreement on process innovation for a new generation of lithium-ion battery materials.

Nano One’s One-Pot process is designed to form a type of cathode material known as a “coated single crystal” that can improve durability. This process can also produce materials directly from metal powder and lithium carbonate to address cost, energy and sustainability goals throughout the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

Read more at: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/johnson-matthey-nano-one-in-development-agreement-for-lithium-ion-battery-materials-2021

#Forbes: #Indonesia On Track To Dominate The Supply Of #Nickel To Make Batteries

Karyawan mengendarai bus listrik saat uji coba di Kantor Pusat PT Transjakarta, Cawang, Jakarta, Senin (6/7/2020). PT Transportasi Jakarta (Transjakarta) melakukan uji coba dua bus listrik EV1 dan EV2 rute Balai Kota – Blok M dengan mengangkut penumpang. ANTARA FOTO/Galih Pradipta/wsj.

Indonesia is on track to become the world’s nickel capital with new projects potentially lifting the country’s share of the important stainless steel and battery metal ingredient to a whopping 60% of global output later this decade.

Much of the planned investment is linked to Chinese companies keen to cement their grip on stainless steel production and to meet fast growing demand for batteries which require a range of new-energy metals such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and copper.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2021/06/02/indonesia-on-track-to-dominate-the-supply-of-nickel-to-make-batteries/?sh=14ff88807488

#Nickel atom aids carbon dioxide reduction

Knowing how a nickel iron sulfide catalyst helps reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and other carbon-based products could lead to technologies that can convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into industrially useful chemicals.

Scientists are closer to finding ways to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into industrially useful chemicals thanks to a RIKEN study that looked at how nature converts carbon dioxide into more complex organic compounds—one of the processes underpinning the origin of life.

In nature, carbon dioxide is converted into carbon monoxide and then into more complex organic compounds through reactions that are most likely linked to the origin of life on Earth.

Carbon dioxide reduction occurred only in the presence of nickel, which binds to carbon while iron binds to oxygen. As the potential was increased, the iron sulfur and nickel cluster catalyzed the further reduction of carbon monoxide into the formyl group, which was then converted into methane and ethane.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2021-05-nickel-atom-aids-carbon-dioxide.html

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