Archive | Battery Technology Innovation/Electric Vehicles

Pot takes the spotlight away from lithium and threatens the EV boom (Bloomberg/Mining Weekly.com – June 13, 2019)

https://m.miningweekly.com/

SANTIAGO – Lithium miners are seeing investor interest go up in smoke. The flow of capital into the cannabis industry is draining investments into lithium producers that supply the raw mineral key to power the electric-vehicle revolution.

Mining companies and analysts at the Lithium Supply and Markets Conference in Santiago this week said they couldn’t help but notice the half-empty rooms at the sessions – and the lack of investors and fund managers among attendants.

The picture was remarkably different from last year’s event, when prices for the mineral used in rechargeable batteries were at historic highs. This year prices have fallen 17%. Continue Reading →

Sweden’s EV boom under threat as electricity demand outstrips capacity – by Jesper Starn (Bloomberg/Renewable Energy World – June 12, 2019)

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/

Sweden’s ambitious plan to drastically cut emissions from transport by bringing millions of electric cars onto the road could be derailed by a lack of power capacity for new charging stations in major cities.

An increase in government grants sent sales of electric cars surging by 253% in the first five months this year, but the rally could be over before it’s really started. Demand for electricity in Stockholm and other cities is outgrowing capacity in local grids, forcing new charging networks to compete with other projects from housing to subway lines to get hooked up.

To reach a government target of becoming carbon neutral by 2045, the industry group Power Circle says the Nordic region’s biggest economy needs to add about 2.5 million plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles by the end of the next decade. Continue Reading →

LITHIUM CONF: High-content nickel batteries to remain predominant – by Renato Rostás (Metal Bulletin – June 11, 2019)

https://www.metalbulletin.com/

The growing need for class 1 nickel, which is suited for batteries,
is becoming an issue to the industry, McKinsey’s co-head of EV
battery materials research group, Ken Hoffman, commented.

Santiago: Lithium-ion batteries with higher nickel content will be predominant in the coming years as the industry searches for improved electric capacity, market participants said during Fastmarkets’ 11th Lithium Supply and Markets Conference on Monday June 10.

However, NCM811 batteries – which have 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese – have a long way to go to become more cost efficient as its use demands lengthier treatment to ensure safety and durability, they added.

The NCM622 – 60% Ni, 20% Co, 20% Mn battery – category will lead market share at least until 2025, Chinese electrochemical cathode materials producer Pulead Technology Industry forecast. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay: Mining conference to expand knowledge of new method of mineral exploration – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – June 12, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

Technique now possible due to improvements in lithium batteries which power monitoring equipment

Improvements in lithium batteries are one of the major reasons a new mineral exploration method could soon take off in northwestern Ontario.

Lakehead University will host PACIFIC (passive seismic techniques for envoirnmentally-friendly and cost-efficient mineral exploration), an international group of universities, government agencies and private companies which want to develop new exploration tools.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find mines,” said John McBride, a project geologist with Stillwater Canada, one of the companies involved in the project. Continue Reading →

Tesla might get into the mining business to secure minerals for electric batteries – by Kirsten Korosec (Tech Crunch – June 11, 2019)

https://techcrunch.com/

Tesla might get into the business of mining minerals used in electric vehicle batteries if it wants to expand its product lineup and scale production, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

The comments came after Musk talked about plans for an electric pickup truck and an aim to begin production of its all-electric Class 8 semi truck by the end of 2020. He said those plans were dependent on Tesla’s ability to manufacture a lot of lithium-ion battery cells.

“There’s not much point in adding product complexity if we don’t have enough batteries,” he said. “That is complexity, but without gain.” Continue Reading →

Saving the Planet With Electric Cars Means Strangling This Desert – by Laura MIllan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – June 11, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Mining lithium and copper to supply the battery boom and fight climate change is wrecking a fragile ecosystem in Chile.

The oases that once interrupted the dusty slopes of the Atacama desert in northern Chile allowed humans and animals to survive for thousands of years in the world’s driest climate. That was before the mining started.

Sara Plaza, 67 years old, can still remember guiding her family’s sheep along an ancient Inca trail running between wells and pastures. Today she is watching an engine pump fresh water from beneath the mostly dry Tilopozo meadow. “Now mining companies are taking the water,” she says, pointing to dead grass around stone ruins that once provided a nighttime refuge for shepherds.

“No one comes here anymore, because there’s not enough grass for the animals,” Plaza says. “But when I was a kid, there was so much water you could mistake this whole area for the sea.” Continue Reading →

Manganese poised to make its mark as EV metal – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – June 5, 2019)

https://m.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Manganese could make its mark in the battery electric vehicle (EV) arena by displacing cobalt to a large extent in many of the cathode formulations, where the bulk of battery metals are used.

The Junior Indaba heard on Wednesday that manganese, which South Africa hosts in abundance, is in a race with nickel, cobalt and aluminium to win the favour of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) concerned about cobalt’s high concentration in a single country, where ethical issues also cloud its use. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

The favourable positioning of manganese surfaced during a panel discussion on strategic metals, led by Impala Platinum mining executive and Women in Mining chairperson Thabile Makgala, and made up of Standard Bank commodities analyst Thabang Thlaku, Manganese Metal Company chief marketing officer Madelein Todd, Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe executive director Paul Chimbodza and Ivanplats senior VP Gerick Mouton. Continue Reading →

New mining manager outlines his vision for Vale at Thompson chamber meeting – by Kyle Darbyson (Thompson Citizen – June 5, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Gary Eyres tells business owners about nickel concentrate, electric cars and new exploration initiatives

After three months on the job, Vale’s latest mining manager Gary Eyres spoke at the Thompson Chamber of Commerce meeting May 29. Throughout his 44-minute presentation, Eyres outlined what Vale’s Manitoba Operations look like right now and where they are headed in the future.

The Australian went over Vale’s current status as a strictly mining and milling operation in Thompson since its smelter and refinery shut down for good back in late 2018.

However, Eyres said the concentrate load-out facility completed about a year ago allows the company to ship out 14 to 16 trucks’ worth of concentrate to Sudbury, Ontario for processing every day. Continue Reading →

The booming battery market brings significant opportunities to mineral-rich Finland – by Harry Sandström (World Finance – June 5, 2019)

https://www.worldfinance.com/

Harry Sandström, Programme Director at Geological Survey of Finland.

The forecasted increase of electric vehicles (EVs) is huge: according to the International Energy Agency, there will be around 125 million EVs on the road globally by 2030.

The battery market is surging in parallel, with the raw materials market set to join it. However, until circulation technology is developed further and totally new battery technologies appear, there is sure to be a shortage of primary raw materials, such as cobalt.

In Europe, Norway is racing ahead in terms of EVs, but China will soon become the frontrunner on a global level. Even so, other markets are making progress of their own. Finland may only be a small economy, but it has notable strengths in the development of battery technology, particularly in terms of raw materials, chemicals, control systems and industry machinery. Continue Reading →

World’s big lithium miners want on the battery bandwagon – by David Stringer and Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg/Financial Post – June 4, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

The race by Tesla Inc., Samsung SDI Co. and other technology giants to secure supplies of lithium — a key ingredient in batteries for electric vehicles and smartphones — is creating a unique chance for two global mining superpowers to reap more value from their natural resources.

Australia and Chile are looking to lithium to help them escape a cycle that for decades has had the two nations digging out minerals such as iron ore and copper, only to see them refined and turned into valuable products abroad.

Almost three-quarters of the world’s lithium raw materials come from mines in Australia or briny lakes in Chile, giving them leverage with customers scrambling to tie up supplies. The mining nations hope to have refining and manufacturing plants that could help kick start domestic technology industries. Continue Reading →

Chile, once the world’s lithium leader, loses ground to rivals – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters India – May 30, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – As automakers race to a clean-energy future, Chile looked to be in the catbird seat. The South American nation possesses the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a lightweight metal crucial to manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles. Chile’s lithium is high quality and cheap to produce.

But the nation’s output has barely budged in recent years. Chile’s two lone producers, SQM and Albemarle Corp, have struggled to boost production to capitalize on strong global demand, which is widely expected to triple by 2025.

Chile’s government, meanwhile, has been slow to allow new players to enter the market. And indigenous groups and activists are opposing new projects, worried about environmental impacts. The upshot: Chile is losing ground to competitors. Continue Reading →

Australia, US should form battery mineral alliance, says lithium chief – by Jacob Greber (Australian Financial Review – May 22, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Washington | Australia and the US may need to jettison free-market orthodoxy and develop a strategic alliance to guarantee supply of the raw materials essential to the new era of battery-based electrification.

James Calaway, chairman of Australian-listed lithium developer Ioneer, said there was an “unusual amount” of interest within the US and Australian governments over the vulnerabilities of critical supply chains for battery technology.

“I don’t think we need to get into protectionism, but we can talk about what do we need to do to encourage domestic investment in value-added materials and development,” Mr Calaway, who is based in Houston, Texas, said in an interview. “That shouldn’t be off the table.” Continue Reading →

Global miner BHP plans to expand nickel output amid battery boom (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Group on Wednesday said it plans to expand its nickel sulphide operations amid an expected boom in demand for the material in electric vehicle batteries.

But the company is not looking to produce main battery ingredient lithium as it sees such output having slimmer profits.

Speaking at a strategy briefing on long-term asset allocation, BHP Chief Financial Officer Peter Beaven said growth in nickel could come from either exploration or acquisitions. Continue Reading →

Japan’s SMM aims to double battery material capacity in nine years – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters U.S. – May 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese miner and smelter Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd (SMM) aims to more than double its production capacity of cathode materials used in batteries for automobiles by March 2028, its president Akira Nozaki said on Friday.

SMM, which also makes electrical materials, supplies the nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cathode materials used in Panasonic Corp’s lithium-ion battery that powers Tesla Inc’s Model 3 and Model X cars.

The Japanese company plans to boost its output capacity of cathode materials to 10,000 tonnes a month by end-March 2028, from 4,550 tonnes a month now, Nozaki told an analyst meeting. Continue Reading →

The lithium industry needs a $17b injection to meet 2025 demand – here come the deals – by Angela East (Stockhead.com.au – May 15, 2019)

https://stockhead.com.au/

Corporate deals in the lithium industry are heating up at a time when there is a predicted multi-billion-dollar cash injection needed to ramp up supply to meet rapidly growing demand.

One expert says at least US$12 billion ($17.3 billion) needs to be invested in new lithium projects by 2025 if the industry is to have any realistic hope of matching supply with demand.

US lithium expert Joe Lowry told delegates at the Latin America Downunder mining conference in Perth that the ‘Big Four’ global lithium producers – SQM, Albemarle, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi – could not alone meet 2025 lithium demand. Continue Reading →