Relying solely on raw materials sourced within Europe could incentivise the use of cheaper, non-recyclable batteries, increasing the need to mine virgin materials to power electric vehicles, industry has said.
Rare earth metals such as cobalt and nickel, key components in lithium-ion batteries, are well-suited for reuse, which has given rise to hopes that much of Europe’s demand for these raw materials can be met through recycling rather than mining.
However, until enough end-of-life batteries enter the system to facilitate widescale reuse, it is necessary to continue mining large quantities of virgin materials to meet projected demand.
Under the proposed EU battery regulation, the use of minimum levels of recycled content for cobalt, lead, lithium, and nickel in battery manufacturing will not become mandatory until 2030. Nickel is primarily sourced from Latin America at present, while around two-thirds of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For the rest of this article: https://www.euractiv.com/section/batteries/news/mining-industry-warns-against-europes-drive-for-raw-material-autonomy/