America’s ‘Invisible Aircraft’- As Russia Controls Titanium Supply Chain, How US Secretly Sourced This Mineral To Build The Blackbird – by Tanmay Kadam (EurAsian Times – March 28, 2022)

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The Russia-Ukraine war has the aerospace companies worried as it may disrupt the supply of titanium, a key mineral used in the manufacture of various components of modern aircraft.

Kevin Michaels, managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory, a supply-chain consulting firm, has sounded an alarm by saying that Russian President Putin can shut down the commercial aerospace business if he chooses to do so.

VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation based in Verkhnyaya Salda, Russia, is the world’s largest titanium producer. It supplies 30-35% of the titanium used by the aviation sector globally. Aerospace giants such as Boeing and Airbus are heavily dependent on Russian titanium.

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Stellantis and LG announce $5-billion EV battery plant in Ontario – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 24, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Plant would eventually create more than 2,500 jobs within a key segment of the auto supply chain

European automaker Stellantis N.V. and South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution said on Wednesday they will invest $5 billion in a joint venture to build Canada’s first electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing plant, located in Windsor, Ont.

It would stand out as among the largest, if not the largest, investment in the Canadian auto sector in the country’s history and is expected to receive significant, if still undisclosed, financial support from the federal and provincial governments.

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Ontario risks losing its auto crown as cheap, green power gives Quebec the EV edge – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 12, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

As both provinces race to woo automakers and battery makers, a new quandary could arise

Ontario Premier Doug Ford this past fall spoke at a provincial construction industry conference and told his audience that his province would be at the vanguard of the next revolution in automotive production. “We’re going to be the No. 1 manufacturer of electric cars anywhere,” he said.

Similar things are said next door in Quebec. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon regularly brags about the powerful combination of his province’s rich mineral endowment and the cheap, low-emission electricity produced by Hydro-Québec.

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GM, POSCO Chemical partner for $500-Million EV battery supply chain plant in Quebec – by Adam Radwanski (Globe and Mail – March 7, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canadian governments’ efforts to woo investment in electric-vehicle manufacturing are starting to bear fruit – especially with one aspect of the supply chain, in one corner of Quebec.

On Monday, General Motors Co. announced that, in partnership with the South Korean company POSCO Chemical Co. Ltd., it will begin construction on a new $500-million factory in Bécancour, Que. The plant, which GM says will be operational by 2025 and create about 200 jobs, will produce cathode active material (CAM) – a major component of EV batteries that GM will assemble in the United States.

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Apple ‘Conflict Minerals Disclosure’ Says It Stopped Working With 12 Suppliers – by Audrey Carleton (Vice.com – February 10, 2022)

https://www.vice.com/en/

Apple has removed 12 smelters and refiners from its supply chain for failing to pass human rights and minerals standards, it told the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a Feb. 9 filing.

It’s the seventh year in a row that the corporation has required the smelters and refiners that provide and process the minerals that go into its products to go through a third-party audit for responsible sourcing practices. By the end of last year, all suppliers left in its supply chain had participated in the audit and passed it, the corporation says in the filing; those that did not were removed from the supply chain.

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The Real Brake on America’s Electric-Vehicle Revolution – by Stephen Wilmot (Wall Street Journal – January 28, 2022)

https://www.wsj.com/

Capital is pouring into U.S. EV and battery plants, but not into the foundations of a domestic battery industry, leaving the supply chain uncomfortably dependent on China

Electric vehicles won’t get a “100% Made in U.S.A.” stamp for a good while yet.

U.S. auto makers are pouring billions of dollars into domestic EV factories and lithium-ion battery plants to supply them. General Motors this week announced $6.6 billion of EV investments into two Michigan plants, including $1.3 billion from its South Korean battery partner, LG Energy Solution.

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RANKED: Top 20 EVs of 2021 – costs jump as lithium, cobalt, nickel prices surge – by Frik Els (Mining.com – January 13, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Ranking of world’s 20 best selling electric cars and their battery metals show automakers grappling with soaring raw material prices

Sales of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids are set to double in China this year and reach 5 million units in the world’s top auto market. In Europe, EVs have overtaken sales of diesel-powered vehicles for the first time ever, and now account for one out of every five cars driving off lots.

In North America last year, unit sales were 87% ahead of 2020 and will accelerate again this year, with the launch of all electric pick-up (and perhaps cyber) trucks.

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Proposed northern Minnesota nickel mine signs deal with Tesla – by Mike Hughlett (Star Tribune – January 10, 2022)

https://www.startribune.com/

Under the deal, Tesla would buy about half of Tamarack Mine’s projected production.

Talon Metals, the company behind a proposed Minnesota nickel mine, said Monday it has made a major supply deal with Tesla.

The electric vehicle giant has committed to buy 75,000 metric tons of nickel concentrate over six years from Talon’s planned mine in Tamarack, about 50 miles west of Duluth. Tesla would also have rights to go above that amount.

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Toyota to spend $35bn on electric push in effort to take on Tesla – by Eri Sugiura and Leo Lewis (Financial Times – December 14, 2021)

https://www.ft.com/

Toyota said it will pour $35bn into a shift towards electric vehicles as the world’s biggest carmaker sets itself up for direct rivalry with Tesla and joins other groups in a push for carbon neutrality.

It marks a major increase in its electric targets as it aims to sell 3.5m battery-powered vehicles annually by 2030, with the launch of 30 EV models by then in a line-up including sports cars and commercial vehicles.

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Premier Doug Ford pitching Ontario as electric vehicle leader, but not reintroducing rebates – by Allison Jones (Canadian Press/Global News – December 13, 2021)

https://globalnews.ca/

TORONTO — Doug Ford is pitching Ontario as the next electric vehicle manufacturing powerhouse, seemingly a far cry from the premier who three years ago cancelled incentives for people to buy them.

Where some see contradiction, others see calculated election strategy. Shortly after coming to power in 2018, Ford’s government scrapped Ontario’s cap-and-trade system, and with it the electric vehicle rebates funded by that program.

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Historic Monel: the alloy that time forgot – by James E. Churchill (The Nickel Institute – March 23, 2021)

https://nickelinstitute.org/

James E. Churchill believes that telling the history of Monel and renewing the scientific data will empower conservators to educate and preserve key metallurgical heritage.

In 2019 I was introduced to a material I had only heard of in passing, Monel®*. Having previously come across it through the wrought craft of Samuel Yellin, a field trip to the southern tip of Manhattan placed me in front of a gleaming Monel elevator in an art-deco lobby. My interest was piqued. What was this alloy, how was it used and was it still popular?

In an attempt to hunt down interiors, I found redevelopment of department stores and banks, where the metal had flourished, had sadly led to total loss. I also discovered I was not alone in my ignorance.

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Lithium Prices Soar, Turbocharged By Electric-Vehicle Demand and Scant Supply – by Amrith Ramkumar (Wall Street Journal – December 13, 2021)

https://www.wsj.com/

The lithium price surge is setting off a scramble for supply and fueling fears about long-term battery metals shortages

Lithium prices are rising at their fastest pace in years, setting off a race to secure supplies and fueling worries about long-term shortages of a vital ingredient in the rechargeable batteries that power everything from electric vehicles to smartphones.

An index of lithium prices from research firm and price provider Benchmark Mineral Intelligence doubled between May and November and is up some 240% for the year. The index is at its highest level in data going back five years.

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Mandatory EV sales quotas needed by end of next year: Guilbeault – by Mia Rabson (Canadian Press/Toronto Sun – December 10, 2021)

https://torontosun.com/

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says he wants a national mandate that would force auto dealers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles to be in place by the end of next year.

Road transportation accounts for one-fifth of Canada’s total greenhouse-gas emissions. As Canada charts a path to net zero by 2050, eliminating carbon dioxide from passenger cars is a big part of the process.

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Canada threatens U.S. with tariffs, partial suspension of CUSMA over electric vehicle tax credit – by Peter Zimonjic (CBC News Politics – December 10, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/

Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland and International Trade Minister Mary Ng made threat in letter to U.S. senators

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has written to top U.S. senators threatening to suspend parts of the CUSMA trade agreement and impose tariffs on American goods unless U.S. officials back away from a proposed tax credit for American-built electric vehicles.

“We are deeply concerned that certain provisions of the electric vehicle tax credits as proposed in the Build Back Better Act violate the United States’ obligations under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” Freeland and International Trade Minister Mary Ng say in the letter.

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In shadow of U.S. protectionism, Canada in heated battle for EV battery manufacturing – by Adam Radwanski and Laura Stone (Globe and Mail – December 8, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canada is racing to close deals for new plants to produce electric-vehicle batteries amid an increasingly heated North America-wide competition for investment in EV manufacturing.

Government negotiations with at least three companies looking to make major battery-building investments have reached a critical stage, sources familiar with the talks confirmed on Wednesday.

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