Archive | Metals and Manufacturing

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases – by Tracy Hancock (MiningWeekly.com – March 15, 2019)

http://m.miningweekly.com/

Metals of the Future

Investors focused on the mining sector may not fully appreciate how quickly the electric vehicle (EV) is being adopted globally, in light of the world pursuing a low-carbon emissions future, says battery metals investment vehicle Cobalt 27 Capital chairperson and CEO Anthony Milewski, who warns of a potential deficit in the supply of the metals critical to achieving this future.

Global management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company says 2017 marked the first time EV sales passed the one- million mark, noting in May 2018 that, by 2020, EV producers could be moving 4.5- million units, about 5% of the overall global light-vehicle market.

Even with South Africa’s electricity supply woes, automotive company Jaguar Land Rover South Africa forecast in January that South Africa could have 145 000 EVs on its roads, expecting yearly sales of new EVs to reach 43 000 units in the next six years. Continue Reading →

How the outlook for Canada’s miners may hinge on Volkswagen’s $66-billion gamble on electric vehicles – by Scott Barlow (Globe and Mail – March 14, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Global mining giant Glencore PLC estimates that the production of an electric vehicle will require 84 kilograms of copper, 30 kilograms of nickel and eight kilograms of cobalt. Demand for battery powered cars then is not only of interest to oil patch investors concerned about future demand, but also potential investors in Canada’s base-metal miners.

We will find out a lot about future demand for electric vehicles in 2019 as global auto companies attempt to eat into Tesla Inc.’s leading market share.

Consumer excitement about Tesla cars is expected to wane significantly. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, in a report Tuesday, noted that the Tesla brand is losing its “aura of exclusivity” because of recent price cuts. “We see TSLA hitting an air pocket in demand that is coming earlier than we expected,” he said. Mr. Jonas also cut his stock price target for Tesla to US$260 from US$283. Continue Reading →

Ford chairman praises CEO, mulls lithium venture – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – March 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co Executive Chairman Bill Ford said on Tuesday that he is very confident in Chief Executive James Hackett’s leadership and that the automaker is considering striking supply deals with a lithium producer.

Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, is in the midst of a restructuring of global operations and is spending $11 billion to bring 40 electrified vehicles to the market by 2022, part a move by the company to take part in the electrification trend sweeping the automotive industry.

Michigan-based Ford has also announced a commercial vehicle alliance with Germany’s Volkswagen AG, with plans to jointly develop electric and self-driving vehicles. Continue Reading →

Palladium Smashes $1,500 as Shortages Ignite Record-Breaking Rally – by Ranjeetha Pakiam (Bloomberg News – February 20, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Palladium surged above $1,500 an ounce to a record, extending a powerful rally that’s been driven by an acute shortage of supply as car manufacturers scramble to get hold of the material to meet stringent emissions controls.

Spot palladium surged as much as 1.7 percent to $1,505.46 an ounce, and traded at $1,488.20 at 10:08 a.m. in New York. Prices are set for a seventh straight monthly gain. The advance will benefit top suppliers in Russia and South Africa. In other precious metals, gold rallied to a 10-month high, while silver and platinum both climbed.

Palladium, a silvery-white metal used to curb emissions from gasoline-fueled vehicles, has tripled since January 2016. Citigroup Inc. said this month that further gains may be in store, warning the market will only balance with a shock to demand. Prices may hit $1,600, the bank forecasts. Continue Reading →

India eyes South America’s lithium reserves for battery manufacturing – by Uma Gupta (PV Magazine India – February 12, 2019)

PV Magazine India

As India plans to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium.

A delegation from Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) recently visited the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) to explore opportunities in the mining of Lithium.

Significantly, as India looks to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, these countries have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium, reported The Financial Express. Continue Reading →

Ford engages the mining sector on the road to more EVs – by Kim Cloete (MiningWeekly.com – February 5, 2019)

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/

Ford is quickening its pace towards the mass production of electric vehicles (EVs) and is researching how the mining industry can help it achieve its goals.

“There are tremendous investments taking place at every level to achieve this radical revolution in the automotive industry,” Ford energy storage, strategy and research senior manager Ted Miller told delegates at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town.

He added that Ford and its competitors had made significant investments and expected suppliers to do the same. Continue Reading →

Volkswagen jumps into the EV batteries making wagon – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – January 25, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

German auto maker giant Volkswagen has just upped its bet on electric vehicles (EVs) by announcing it will begin manufacturing batteries and charging stations for those cars, which the company plans to also start mass producing soon.

The Wolfsburg-based company said it would invest 870 million euros (about $985 million) by 2020 to develop e-vehicle components, adding that its components division, which makes engines and steering parts, will now be in charge of producing, packing and overseeing recycling of battery cells and packs.

VW has been actively promoting the electric push by creating global production capacities for the construction of 1 million electric cars. Late last year, it announced it would spend nearly $50 billion to refocus on the making of electric cars, autonomous vehicles and new mobility services. Continue Reading →

The diesel emissions scandal helped make palladium more valuable than gold – by Natasha Frost (Quartz.com – January 23, 2019)

https://qz.com/

Palladium prices have never known such glittering heights. The silvery-white precious metal is now $1,351.40 an ounce: more expensive than gold ($1,283.75 an ounce) or platinum ($792.30 an ounce), and just a little cheaper than iridium ($1,460 an ounce) and rhodium ($2,460).

As Bloomberg reports, palladium has surged around 50% in the past four months. A decade ago, it cost less than $200 an ounce.

About 80% of all palladium winds up in the exhaust systems of cars—it helps turn nasty pollutants into more benign water vapor and carbon dioxide. (The metal has also occasionally been used for jewelry, particularly during World War II, where a scarcity of platinum led it to be used in wedding bands.) Continue Reading →

Palladium Tops $1,400 First Time Ever On ‘Avaricious’ Demand – by Allen Sykora (Kitco News – January 17, 2019)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) – Palladium – described as a tight market for some time now due to robust automotive demand – topped $1,400 an ounce for the first time ever on Thursday. A desk trader in the physical market said that at one point, palladium suddenly rocketed ahead by around $80 in three hours. Another dealer said prices then eased on profit-taking, but he looks for another test of $1,400.

Spot palladium was $32.75 higher to $1,389.55 an ounce as of 11:11 a.m. EST. The metal peaked just above $1,431 overnight. This was $136 higher than the session peak in spot gold.

“Supplies [of palladium] are pretty much what they were, but demand has been avaricious over the past year,” said Bill O’Neill, one of the principals with LOGIC Advisors, in an interview with Kitco News. “As a result, we have soaring palladium prices and a premium to gold.” Continue Reading →

Ford launches blockchain project to trace cobalt in the Congo – by Hasan Chowdhury (The Telegraph – January 16, 2019)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Ford is preparing to clamp down on labour exploitation in the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo by using blockchain technology to keep a record of supplies in the metal, a key ingredient for electric vehicle batteries.

The US carmaker will partner with LG Chem, a South Korean chemicals specialist and Chinese mining firm Huayou Cobalt for a pilot programme that will aim to ensure the in-demand metal is responsibly sourced. Concerns have mounted around a practice known as artisanal mining, which often involves children mining for metals by hand.

According to the Congo’s Chamber of Mines, 2m people are involved in artisanal mining in the country, with around 200,000 miners specifically digging in copper mines. Cobalt is usually obtained as a byproduct of copper and nickel mining. Continue Reading →

Pimco Favors ‘Unloved’ Platinum That’s Looking Cheap Versus Gold – by Ranjeetha Pakiam (Bloomberg News – January 16, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Platinum could be the dark horse among precious metals, according to a money manager at Pacific Investment Management Co.

Nic Johnson, Pimco’s managing director and portfolio manager for commodities, says he prefers the metal over gold. Used in autocatalysts of diesel engines and jewelry, it’s near the cheapest ever relative to both bullion and palladium, after tumbling 14 percent last year.

While investors have poured into gold funds, they’ve deserted platinum, which has fallen out of favor amid shrinking demand and excess supply. The possibility the trend reverses even slightly represents a buying opportunity, Johnson said in an interview from Newport Beach, California. With $1.72 trillion under management as of September, Pimco is one of the world’s largest bond managers. Continue Reading →

Congo poll leaves uncertainty for miners at heart of EV revolution – by Joe Bavier (Reuters U.S. – January 13, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The surprise outcome of Congo’s election – a vote meant to bring closure to years of turmoil under President Joseph Kabila – has done little to ease uncertainty for miners and investors in a country crucial to the electric vehicle revolution.

Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s leading miner of cobalt, a mineral used in electric car batteries which has seen a surge in demand in recent years, with mines run by firms including Glencore (GLEN.L) and China Molybdenum (603993.SS).

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi, an unknown quantity for mining executives, was declared the winner of last month’s chaotic vote on Thursday, defeating Kabila’s chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. Continue Reading →

Palladium Still Isn’t Pricey Enough – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – January 10, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Platinum’s lesser-known cousin keeps going from strength to strength. Palladium, once considered an unattractive by-product of platinum mining until the rise of catalytic converters in the 1970s, is hitting new records.

Spot metal peaked at an all-time high $1,344.41 a troy ounce Wednesday. Over the past month, it’s been more costly than gold, which hasn’t happened since 2002. From a point a decade ago when an ounce of platinum bought you more than 5 ounces of palladium, it now buys you about 0.6 ounces.

You might think this spike will spark an immediate reversal and slump, as is often the case with commodity prices. That may not happen, though, because prices still aren’t high enough to prompt a supply surge. Continue Reading →

Palladium Just Smashed Another Record – by Elena Mazneva and Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – January 8, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Palladium’s premium to platinum jumped to a record, building on its ranking as the best-performing metal of 2018.

Shortages of the metal used in autocatalysts for gasoline-fueled vehicles sent its price to yet another all-time high, widening the price difference with rival platinum to more than $500 an ounce on Tuesday. Most analysts don’t see supply relief for palladium anytime soon.

Both metals are used in catalytic converters to reduce vehicle emissions. Platinum, the more expensive of the two for most of this century, has seen usage decline from its key consumers, diesel carmakers. Demand slid as consumers turned away from diesel vehicles in the wake of Volkswagen AG’s emissions-cheating scandal. Continue Reading →

Electric vehicle manufacturing in China drives metal demand – by Henry Carmichael (Freightwaves.com – December 30, 2018)

https://www.freightwaves.com/

As the world’s largest country by population and second-largest economy, China is embarking on a dedicated effort to become a leader in the emerging electric vehicle market. Hundreds of manufacturing firms in China seek to take advantage of the vast national investment directed at renewable energy and battery storage technology. This also motivates China to capitalize on metal resources necessary for launching the electric vehicle industry.

In 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the “Made in China 2025” initiative, a ten year state-led policy to prepare China’s manufacturing base to be strongly competitive in the future global economy. Sponsoring companies that are making electric vehicles is a component of this plan. The Wall Street Journal recorded that there were 487 electric car manufacturers in China in 2018.

“This (large number of firms) is inevitable, because whenever there is an emerging technology or emerging industry, there must be a hundred schools of thought and a hundred flowers blooming,” explained Zhou Xuan, general manager of Automagic; a Hangzhou based electric vehicle designer. Continue Reading →