Category Archives: Technology

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

#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)

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

Supply chains endanger #American security. Here’s what #Biden is doing.

In late February, as most people were focusing on the war in Ukraine, the White House published over 1,300 pages of reports from a year-long and unprecedented investigation into the economic vulnerabilities caused by global supply chains.

These reports received almost no press attention. Yet they shed light on one of the crucial side effects of the war in Ukraine. Decoupling the economies of the United States and its allies from the economies of authoritarian nations may cause massive disruption.

Shortly after coming into office, the Biden-Harris administration issued an executive order on “America’s Supply Chains.” Seven federal agencies were directed to undertake comprehensive studies of the national and international economic organization of supply chains for strategic minerals, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and batteries within 100 days. The administration also told the government departments to report back within a year about how those industries related to broader “industrial bases” for defense, green energy, public health, information technology, transportation and food.

The reports call for green industrial policy

The U.S. government reports argue that these critical dependencies could be reduced by an ambitious green industrial policy. By 2030, the U.S. agencies are targeting goals that 50 percent of vehicles sold in the United States will be electric, 30 gigawatts of offshore wind will be built in the United States (that’s about four times the annual energy use of New York City), battery storage costs will be reduced by 90 percent, production costs for green hydrogen (made from water and electricity) will be lower than fossil fuel-derived hydrogen, and 90 percent of the key mineral iridium will be recycled. The agencies recommend strengthening the federal government’s “Buy American” program, subsidizing green industries through the Defense Production Act and building stockpiles of clean energy like the United States has for petroleum, along with other measures.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/17/us-supply-chain-security-national-defense/

#Reuters: #Pentagon asks #Congress to fund mining projects in #Australia, #UK

The U.S. Department of Defense has asked Congress to let it fund facilities in the United Kingdom and Australia that process strategic minerals used to make electric vehicles and weapons, calling the proposal crucial to national defense.

The request to alter the Cold War-era Defense Production Act (DPA) came as part of the Pentagon’s recommendations to Congress for how to write the upcoming U.S. military funding bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/pentagon-asks-congress-fund-mining-projects-australia-uk-2022-05-11/

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