How green are the batteries?: Electric car revolution boosts business for big Arctic air-polluter – by Thomas Nilsen (The Baren Observer – September 7, 2017)

Nornickel eyes sharp increase in demand for nickel and copper as tens of millions of electric cars hit the roads over the next few years. Nickel prices leap to new heights, increasing 36% over the last two months. Copper, another key metal for electric car batteries, has seen prices climb by nearly 20% since mid-summer.

That is very good news for Nornickel, one of the world’s largest suppliers of both nickel an copper. With factories on the Taymyr Peninsula and in the Murmansk region, the company’s directors are smiling all the way to the bank. And back. With workers’ salaries to be paid in rubles, and sales abroad in dollars, Nornickel is benefiting from Russia’s turbulent economy with low currency rate.

Nornickel now wants to expand sales to the electric car industry. Recently the company signed an agreement with BASF on possible supply of raw materials for future battery material production for lithium-ion batteries in Europe.

Through the agreement, BASF would receive metals from Nornickel’s Harjavalta refinery in northern Finland and get nickel and cobalt feedstock from the Russian mines. Cobalt is a by-product of copper and nickel mining.

BASF, a leading provider of cathode materials to battery production in both Asia and the U.S. market, intends to expand production to the supply chain for electric car batteries in Europe. The company intends to invest up to €400 million in a European plant for cathode production.

«A cooperation with Nornickel will provide the foundation to further expand BASF’s access to the developing cathode materials market in Europe and participate in growth opportunities in this region,» says media relations contact Christine Haupt to the Barents Observer.

For the rest of this article: