Category Archives: Related Inventions

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

#Bloomberg: The Metal That Worries #Tesla Most Is Getting Much Cheaper

Nickel tumbled after a major Chinese producer’s unexpected plan to add supply eased concerns about a structural deficit for the material that Elon Musk has said is the biggest concern for Tesla Inc. batteries.

Nickel is critical to the world’s clean-energy transition.

Tsingshan Holding Group Co., the world’s top stainless steel producer, will soon start supplying nickel matte to Chinese battery material producers and plans to expand its nickel investments in Indonesia. Matte is an intermediate product made from concentrate that can be further processed into battery-grade chemicals.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-04/nickel-slumps-as-key-producer-s-supply-plans-ease-deficit-fears

#Reuters: #Cobalt demand for 5G technology to challenge electric vehicles

LONDON (Reuters) – The need for larger rechargeable batteries and more energy storage for 5G technology is expected to significantly boost demand for cobalt over coming years and potentially pit the sector against electric vehicle makers.

Read more at: https://ca.reuters.com/article/us-cobalt-5g-electric-idCAKCN26C1EQ

Ending #China’s Chokehold on Rare-Earth Minerals

The fundamental challenge is economic. America’s goal should be secure supply chains, not national autarky of supply. The U.S. should do this by promoting domestic production; diversifying mineral imports away from China; cooperating with allies to insulate each other from Chinese control; developing multiple alternative supply chains; stockpiling rare earths to create shock absorbers in case of a crisis; and reducing demand by investing in alternatives.

Start with the fundamentals. Rare-earth elements exist in small quantities not easily separable from surrounding detritus. Significant known deposits exist in China, Brazil, Canada, Australia and India, as well as in the deep seabed. Sixteen of the 17 rare earths exist in the U.S. at a single west Texas site currently under development. 

Their extraction and treatment is expensive and environmentally damaging, yet they are essential to $7 trillion in finished products. Wealthy countries have made licensing harder and raised other barriers, pushing the industry to China and Malaysia, where low labor costs and weak environmental enforcement make them economical.

As a report  this year from the Colorado School of Mines concluded, “China’s strength is in refining those Rare Earth oxides into metallic alloys to manufacture end-products.” Breaking China’s monopoly will require development of processing plants and supply chains outside Beijing’s control.

China dominates the global market in rare-earth minerals, producing 70% of the world’s exports. But this isn’t a gift of nature — it’s the result of 15 years of industrial policy. The Chinese government identified a critical economic chokehold, invested in building companies, subsidized production to underprice and ultimately destroy competition, and then constructed a monopoly.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-09-18/ending-china-s-chokehold-on-rare-earth-minerals

GE advises Korea to speed up innovation

Incheon South Korea

U.S. tech giant General Electric on Wednesday called for Korea to speed up its innovation to keep up with rapidly changing global trends that could make the country “easily left out.”

The company suggested that Korean society and businesses adopt “industrial Internet,” “advanced manufacturing” and a “global brain” to achieve stronger homegrown innovation, wider collaboration and education to become leaders in high-value industries.

Read more at: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20150708001082

Korean Research Team Develops One Atom Thick Semiconductor

A local research team has successfully developed a technique to make the thinnest semiconductor possible.

The National Research Foundation announced on June 25 that Professor Ahn Jong-ryeol and Ph.D. student Shin Ha-cheol at Sungkyunkwan University succeeded in developing a technique for a 0.25 nm semiconductor. The width is the minimum limit for making nanomaterials, because ~0.25 nm is the diameter of one atom.

Local semiconductor companies are currently conducting studies to make 10 nm semiconductor devices, but this research team pushed the limits, since they thought that it would be possible to produce a semiconductor material just one atom thick.

Read more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/11189/025-nanometers-thin-korean-research-team-develops-one-atom-thick-semiconductor

Samsung doubles battery capacity

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Samsung researchers have developed materials that double the power capacity of lithium-ion batteries.

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) said the technology uses silicon cathode material coded with high-crystalline graphene to produce batteries with twice as much capacity as ordinary lithium-ion batteries.

The institute said the research result was published in the international science journal Nature Communication on Thursday.

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