Archive | Battery Technology Innovation/Electric Vehicles

Rio Tinto produces battery grade lithium in the US – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 7, 2021)

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) has kicked off lithium production from waste rock at a plant located at a borates mine it controls in California.

The demonstration facility is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at the Boron mine. The method allows Rio Tinto to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

An initial small-scale trial in 2019 successfully proved the process of roasting and leaching waste rock to recover high grades of the metal, vital in the production of batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and most high tech electronics. Continue Reading →

Battery and ‘green’ metals brighten outlook for mining sector – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 6, 2021)

Global mining news

The transition to electric vehicles could take a decade or two but demand for the key metals in batteries and energy storage systems will only continue to grow as the shift to a greener future gains traction.

China currently leads the world in EV and battery production. The latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to BMO Capital Markets, show that sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in February were 585% higher than the same month in 2020, and the country’s production of lithium-ion batteries jumped 108% year-on-year to 18.25 billion units annually in the months of January and February.

The U.S. wants to catch up. Under U.S. President Joe Biden’s US$2.3 trillion infrastructure renewal and job creation plan announced last week, US$174 billion has been earmarked for EVs. Continue Reading →

Fort William First Nation ready to be the host community of a lithium processing plant – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 31, 2021)

Avalon Advanced Material signs letter of intent with northwestern Ontario community on brownfield site search

A potential developer of a lithium chemical plant in northwestern Ontario has inked an agreement with Fort William First Nation (FWFN), next to Thunder Bay, to identify a suitable refinery site on reserve land.

Toronto’s Avalon Advanced Materials has signed a letter of intent with the community to collaborate on the possible construction of a lithium processing plant on Fort William’s spacious heavy industrial lands.

The reserve has more than 1,100 acres of brownfield property available, formerly known as the Grand Trunk Pacific Lands, that is being marketed as a development-ready industrial business park. Continue Reading →

Vale sells New Caledonia nickel assets to Trafigura – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 31, 2021)

Vale (NYSE: VALE) said on Wednesday it had concluded the sale of its nickel and cobalt operations in New Caledonia, a French territory in the Pacific, to a consortium called Prony, which includes commodity trader Trafigura.

While the Brazilian miner did not disclose the exact terms of the deal, it said that $1.1 billion will be invested in the New Caledonia assets, with $555 million coming from its subsidiary Vale Canada Ltd.

“Vale’s intent from the beginning of the divestment process was to withdraw from New Caledonia in an orderly and responsible manner. This deal accomplishes that,” chief executive Eduardo Bartolomeo said in the statement. Continue Reading →

Indonesia plays hardball with its nickel – by James Guild (East Asia Forum – March 30, 2021)

Nickel has become increasingly important beyond its traditional use in stainless steel manufacturing as the base metal is a key component in lithium-ion batteries, including the kind used in electric vehicles (EVs).

As the world’s big automakers begin scaling up the production of EVs, nickel and the batteries it goes into are expected to be in high demand. With the largest reserves of nickel deposits in the world, Indonesia is no longer content to simply export its raw ore.

Indonesia wants to take a central position in the value-added links in the EV supply chain — from mining the ore, to refining it, to manufacturing the batteries and eventually to building the cars. And because Indonesia controls the raw input, it turns out it has a lot of leverage. Continue Reading →

Canada needs to work toward gaining leadership in the EV revolution – report – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 28, 2021)

“Canada has great potential to become a leader in the global Li-ion battery market,” a new analysis by Roskill states.

The research firm published the insight following the announcement by Lion Electric, a manufacturer of all-electric trucks and buses, of the construction of a C$185-million battery manufacturing plant and innovation center in Quebec.

The project is expected to receive a joint C$100-million investment from the federal and provincial governments and it is planned to begin operations in early 2023. Continue Reading →

The backing of German governments means Volkswagen’s all-out electric push is less risky than it appears – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – March 27, 2021)

Every traditional car company is rolling out electric vehicles – lots of them. But only one, Volkswagen, is betting the farm on EVs. The wholesale embrace of one technology seems like an astonishingly risky move. Even rival BMW thinks so.

Last week, VW, the world’s biggest automaker, unveiled its Tesla-killer strategy, though in reality the German company is already eating Tesla’s lunch in Europe. Last year, VW became the leading maker of EVs in Europe and sold more of them in that market than Tesla.

The next stage of its strategy is aimed at displacing Tesla as the global leader in battery-powered cars. VW boss Herbert Diess plans to surpass the California company in total EV sales by 2025, even as Elon Musk’s electric baby ramps up production in Europe and Asia. Continue Reading →

Vale’s search for new mines, reserves continues in Sudbury – by Harald Carmichael (Sudbury Star – March 24, 2021)

These are interesting times for Vale’s operations in Sudbury and Canada. World nickel prices are high, but so are inventories. The electric vehicle market, which will need substantial quantities of nickel for the batteries to power those vehicles, is poised to take off globally.

The nickel reserves now being mined in Greater Sudbury and Thompson, Man., however, are starting to head into their senior years.

And while there are numerous projects in the early stages of development or on the books to replace those long-standing operations, Vale’s North Atlantic operations are embarking on a much-different business approach as they head into the next decade and beyond. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario can be global mining destination for critical minerals – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 19, 2021)

Province, producers take steps toward creating electric vehicle supply chain

The Chinese control of the world’s supply of critical minerals offers an opportunity for Ontario to become a global leading supplier in the electric vehicle supply chain.

That was one of the messages put forth in a virtual panel discussion on Critical Minerals Supply Chains in the Post-COVID Economy, a virtual event hosted by the Canadian Club in Toronto, March 17.

Northern Ontario has an abundance of high-quality critical minerals that are in increasing demand, as the world moves toward a cleaner and greener economies in manufacturing and a more decarbonized planet. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: U.S. looks to Canada for minerals to build electric vehicles – documents – by Ernest Scheyder and Jeff Lewis (Yahoo News – March 18, 2021)

(Reuters) – The U.S. government is working to help American miners and battery makers expand into Canada, part of a strategy to boost regional production of minerals used to make electric vehicles and counter Chinese competitors.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce held a closed-door virtual meeting with miners and battery manufacturers to discuss ways to boost Canadian production of EV materials, according to documents seen by Reuters.

A source who attended the meeting said there was no indication that the Commerce Department would offer financial incentives for new mines or other supply chain components in Canada. Continue Reading →

Rising U.S. Lithium Industry: A Potential Quandary For Environmental Activists – by David Blackmon (Forbes Magazine – March 16, 2021)

Lithium mining has been present in America for decades, although in a minimal way. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that, although the U.S. is very rich in underground lithium resources, it currently mines and processes only about 1% of annual global lithium production.

According to that report, “China, with a huge chemical industry and low costs, unearths about 10% and processes about two-thirds of what’s dug up.”

Lithium mining and production appears likely to become a much bigger enterprise in the United States as the Biden/Harris administration implements policies designed to encourage and stimulate it. Continue Reading →

Nickel demand for EVs to outpace lithium and cobalt – report – by Staff ( – March 16, 2021)

As battery metals continue to rise to the forefront of attention, much has centered around lithium and cobalt.

Governments have enacted policies to encourage investment into the critical raw materials they deem essential to the green energy transition. At the same time, supply chain concerns surrounding nickel have begun to garner increasing focus.

As a key component of battery cathode chemistry in many existing and upcoming electric vehicles (EVs), nickel will remain an important metal to watch in the coming decade, market analyst Fitch Solutions maintains in its latest industry report. Continue Reading →

‘Demand is growing and growing fast’: Quebec electric vehicle company gets help to build $185 million battery assembly plant – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 16, 2021)

Ottawa and Quebec pitch in loans for a crucial piece in the EV supply chain that could help position the province for future growth in the sector

Montreal area-based Lion Electric Co. announced Monday it’s building a $185-million lithium-ion battery assembly plant in Quebec — a crucial piece in the electric vehicle supply chain that could help position the province for future growth in the sector.

The company, which manufactures electric trucks and buses in St. Jerome, Que., said the federal and Quebec governments are each lending $50 million to help advance the project, which is expected to create an additional 135 jobs, and produce around 14,000 batteries once operational in 2023.

The announcement came at a press conference on Monday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault, among other dignitaries, in front of a Lion electric school bus and truck. Continue Reading →

Mick Davis launches $300 million battery metals SPAC – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 15, 2021)

Former Xstrata boss Mick Davis’ newly founded battery metals investment firm Vision Blue Resources (VBR) is stepping up efforts to reach the goal of becoming a battery metals giant by launching a $300 million special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

ESM Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ESM), co-sponsored by VBR and private equity mining investor The Energy and Minerals Group, floated in the US last week. Its mandate is to hunt for and invest in mining projects focused on producing minerals needed for electric vehicles (EVs) and other green energy technologies.

The plan is to use the Vision Blue business to invest in small mining projects, while ESM will seek bigger investment opportunities. Continue Reading →

Local battery material champions planning first-mover advances into new geographies – by Martin Creamer ( – March 15, 2021)

JOHANNESBURG ( – South Africa’s team of local battery material champions are planning first-mover advances into new geographies.

Mining Weekly can today report that Thakadu Battery Materials, which is producing high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate for export, has a pipeline of new projects in place that will involve the use of the locally developed intellectual property, proven process technology and first-mover advantage to fast-track other assets under development in Southern Africa and North America.

In what is a huge story of world-class local innovation, Thakadu, operating as a completely independent startup, has succeeded in turning platinum group metal- (PGM-) linked nickel solution into sought-after battery material that is helping to make the world a greener place. Continue Reading →