Archive | Metals and Manufacturing

Tesla eyes nickel-rich Indonesia for next factory, hints officials – by Maria Merano ( – October 18, 2020)


Local reports are hinting that Tesla might be laying down plans to build a dedicated battery factory in Indonesia. The update was related by Indonesian officials who pointed to ongoing talks with the electric car maker.

CNBC Indonesia reported that the Indonesian government and Tesla are negotiating the possible construction of a battery factory in Batang, Central Java. The location is currently being developed by the country into an expansive industrial area.

In a statement to the media on Monday, Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated that discussions with Tesla are indeed underway for a potential battery factory in Batang. “On going discussion, arahnya ke sana Batang (the direction is Batang),” Gumiwang said. Continue Reading →

Ohio craft brewers bank on cans during the pandemic. Now comes an aluminum shortage.- by Patrick Cooley (The Columbus Dispatch – October 18, 2020)

Ohio’s craft brewers are preparing for an aluminum shortage as more and more beer makers put their concoctions in cans.

The shortage is likely to hit the state’s smallest breweries especially hard because they have fewer resources and less leverage with metal suppliers, industry insiders said.

At the beginning of 2020, breweries sold much of their beer to restaurants and bars, which meant filling kegs for draught beer. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which confined many Ohioans to their homes and continues to weigh on the hospitality industry. Continue Reading →

Ford goes electric, Ontario poised to win – by Brian Lilley (Toronto Sun – October 7, 2020)

It’s being billed as the best news for Ontario’s automotive sector in 15 years and while it’s not a new plant, it is a new lease on life for one of the anchors of the industry.

On Thursday morning, Premier Doug Ford will stand with Ford Canada CEO Dean Stoneley and Unifor president Jerry Dias to announce a major investment in the plant.

Ford Canada will announce a $1.2 billion investment in their Oakville plant while Ford, the premier, will announce $295 million from the province. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, expected to join via video link, will announce the federal government will also put $295 million into the plant. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Ottawa’s quixotic jolt to our electric-battery industry is riskier than it’s letting on – by Andrew Coyne (Globe and Mail – October 7, 2020)

Perhaps the giddiest part of a Throne Speech that seemed at several points to be high on intoxicants was that bit about how Canada was poised to become a world leader in the production of electric batteries, on the unassailable grounds that “Canada has the resources” from which electric batteries are made.

It’s a theme the government, and particularly Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, has been pushing with some regularity. Canada is “rich in key ingredients like lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and aluminum,” he told the Toronto Star’s Tonda MacCharles in a prespeech interview.

All these resources lying about, just waiting to be converted into world-leading electric batteries – it’s a wonder no one’s thought of this before. Continue Reading →

Tesla is in talks with top miner BHP over nickel-supply pact – by Yvonne Yue Li and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – October 6, 2020)

Tesla Inc. is in talks with BHP Group on a nickel deal as the electric-car maker targets higher production and seeks to avoid a supply crunch, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talks are held up on pricing, and no final agreement has been reached so far between the automaker and BHP, the world’s largest miner, said one of the people, requesting anonymity because the talks are private.

The discussions come as Tesla works to raise the amount of the metal used in vehicle batteries to improve performance, and as it makes a push into in-house cell production. Continue Reading →

No need to panic, but beer makers can’t get enough cans (Financial Post – October 7, 2020)

John Sleeman was looking for cans of Sleeman Cream Ale at a store, but couldn’t find them. “There were no cans,” the founder of Canada’s third-largest brewery said.

Instead, he settled for bottles, because Sleeman Breweries Ltd. and other Canadian beer brewers are struggling to get enough cans to meet their needs in the midst of a months-long can shortage in North America.

The can shortage means consumers’ preferred brand of beer — or pop, for that matter — might not always be available in the kind of package they want it in. But brewers this week said that, in most cases, they aren’t actually running out of packages to put their liquid in, just the most popular package. Continue Reading →

China EV ambitions threat to entire US auto industry – report ( – September 29, 2020)

A bipartisan, federal response is required for the United States to compete with China’s ownership of the next generation of transportation, according to a new report from Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE).

By 2040, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) foresees the global stock reaching 500 million EVs. Even the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) foresees roughly 320 million EVs on the road
by 2040.

Across the industry, automakers will invest $300 billion over the next five to 10 years on EV development and production. Nearly half of this investment spending will occur in China, SAFE reports. Continue Reading →

Tesla As A Mining Company. Lithium Today, Nickel Tomorrow? – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – September 29, 2020)

Lithium mining today, so why not nickel mining tomorrow? That’s a question which investors in Tesla and other electric car (EV) makers ought to consider as a raw material rush heats up.

Right now, there’s not a shortage of most metals used in EV batteries, with the possible exception of cobalt, which makes Tesla’s decision to stake a claim to its own 10,000 acre patch of lithium-rich clay in Nevada quite interesting.

A second U.S.-focused lithium deal added to the intrigue with Tesla signing a five-year contract with a small company which has plans to produce lithium in North Carolina. Continue Reading →

Tesla’s raw material shift could set a wider precedent – by Thomas Kavanagh (Argus Media – September 28, 2020)

Tesla’s attempt to move into raw materials production could pave the way for other carmakers as they attempt to transition to mass market electric vehicle (EV) production, ushering in the pursuit of more vertically integrated supply chains for the auto sector.

Raw materials have always been a key obstacle to EVs going mass market. Until now, most carmakers have relied on a more separated, globalised supply chain. Tesla’s move into the space could go some way to meeting a projected 1.79mn t/yr demand by 2030, according to Chile’s state mining agency Cochilco.

Last week, Tesla unveiled plans to produce lithium from clay in the Nevada desert, and today it announced an agreement with Piedmont for the supply of lithium spodumene from the mine developer’s North Carolina deposit. Continue Reading →

Tesla aims to mine its own lithium after dropping M&A plan – by Yvonne Yue Li and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – September 28, 2020)

Tesla Inc. secured its own lithium mining rights in Nevada after dropping a plan to buy a company there, according to people familiar with the matter.

The automaker held discussions in recent months with Cypress Development Corp., which is seeking to extract lithium from clay deposits in southwest Nevada, but the parties didn’t reach a deal, the people said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public.

The electric carmaker, which has vowed to slash its battery costs by 50 per cent, instead focused on the plan that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk outlined last week to dig for lithium on its own in the state. Continue Reading →

Piedmont Lithium soars after confirming Tesla deal – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 28, 2020)

Shares in Australian junior Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) climbed almost 84% on Monday in Sydney after it confirmed it had signed a sales agreement with Tesla to supply the electric cars maker with high-purity lithium ore mineral for up to ten years.

Piedmont accidentally released the announcement last week, following the hyped “Tesla Battery Days”, but the Australian Stock Exchange said it would not publish it then. Continue Reading →

Electric Vehicles: The Dirty Nickel Problem – by Cliff Rice (Clean Technica – September 27, 2020)

“Certainly, electric vehicle manufactures cannot live up to their
professed good intentions of using “environmentally friendly”
nickel if that nickel comes from laterite deposits.”

Electric vehicles are only a small part of the world vehicle market, but this is expected to change. While there are several competing battery chemistries which are likely to be used in this emerging market, many of them contain significant amounts of nickel.

This is a problem, and to understand why it is a problem, we need to understand the basics of where nickel comes from. It gets a bit complicated.

Nickel is mined from two types of deposits — sulphide and laterite. Sulphide nickel occurs in hard rock that has formed from crystallization of magma with the proper conditions and chemistry. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Courtesy of Ford, Canada’s EV moment has suddenly arrived. Are governments ready for it? – by Adam Radwanski (Globe and Mail – September 27, 2020)

Sarah Petrevan, policy director for the think tank Clean Energy
Canada, suggests that Canada could sell itself on ethical and
sustainable mining practices, which is a concern for some makers
of vehicles supposed to represent social responsibility. To get
to that point would likely require an expansive public-policy
tool kit – R&D, de-risking of capital, infrastructure in remote
areas – that governments have yet to formulate.

Suddenly, Canada has a foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most pivotal clean-technology sectors.

Only days ago, being a player any time soon in making electric vehicles seemed preposterous. Ontario’s manufacturing heartland, despite its proud automaking history, had been passed over for new investments in the cars expected to take over global fleets. Continue Reading →

Battery metal miners trying to tap electric car boom want Elon Musk to stop killing their buzz – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 26, 2020)

As investor anticipation mounted for Tesla Inc.’s much-hyped, self-proclaimed Battery Day on Wednesday, Trent Mell was upset just thinking about it.

Mell, chief executive of Toronto-based First Cobalt Corp., has spent three years trying to secure a ground floor seat in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

In 2017, his company bought a long-forgotten refinery in small-town northern Ontario that could, if everything goes right, produce five per cent of the world’s battery grade cobalt, about 25,000 tons, by 2021. It would be the first, and only, refinery in North America producing battery-grade cobalt. Continue Reading →

Ford deal paves way for electric vehicles – by Josh O’Kane (Globe and Mail – September 22, 2020)

The Canadian and Ontario governments will partner with Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. to invest $1.8-billion in its auto plant in Oakville, Ont., Unifor president Jerry Dias said on Tuesday, a significant step toward creating an electric-vehicle industry in Canada that would include manufacturers and suppliers.

The deal is part of a tentative three-year labour contract that was signed at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday after marathon talks between the union and the automaker.

The $1.8-billion will be largely dedicated to retooling the Oakville plant to build five electric vehicle models, the first of which will be scheduled to roll off the line in 2025, Mr. Dias said. Batteries will also be assembled at the plant. Continue Reading →