Automakers accelerate drive to secure battery raw materials

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FILE PHOTO: China-made Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles are seen at the Gigafactory of electric carmaker Tesla Inc in Shanghai

(Reuters) -A spike in demand for electric vehicles (EV) in the global markets is encouraging automakers such Tesla Inc, Volkswagen and Stellantis NV to secure raw materials needed for making batteries.

Following are some of the deals major automakers have announced with suppliers and miners:

TESLA 01-Mar-2022Core Lithium will supply up to 110,000 dry metric tonnes of Spodumene concentrate, a chief source of lithium, over four years, starting in the second half of 2023, from an Australian project.

01-Nov-2021

China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co will supply battery-grade lithium for three years starting 2022. Volumes were not disclosed. Ganfeng is the third largest lithium supplier in the world. 22-July-2021 Australia’s BHP Group will supply nickel from BHP’s plants in Western Australia. Quantities, timing not disclosed.

VOLKSWAGEN

08-Dec-2021

Vulcan Energy Resources will provide lithium hydroxide for five years starting in 2026. Vulcan extracts lithium from geothermal sources in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley region.

08-Dec-2021 Belgian chemical firm Umicore will supply cathode materials for VW European battery cell factories under a joint venture with the carmaker. It will start production in 2025 with 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) for VW’s plant in Salzgitter, Germany.

STELLANTIS NV

29-Nov-2021Preliminary deal with Vulcan Energy Resources for lithium produced using geothermal energy from Germany. Over five years starting in 2026, Vulcan will supply between 81,000 and 99,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

RENAULT SA 21-Nov-2021

Vulcan Energy Resources will supply 26,000 to 32,000 metric tonnes of battery-grade lithium chemicals for initial six-year starting 2026. 08-Oct-2021

MoU with Terrafame, a Finnish nickel and cobalt miner, to supply nickel sulphate. Quantities and timeline not disclosed. (t.ly/iRZm)

TOYOTA MOTOR CORP

04-Oct-2021

BHP Group Ltd will supply nickel sulphate from Western Australia to a battery-making joint venture between Toyota Motor and Panasonic. Details were not disclosed.

GENERAL MOTORS

12-April-2022

Miner Glencore PLC will supply cobalt, secured from its Murrin Murrin operation in Australia, to be used in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes, which powers the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq vehicles. Details were not disclosed.

02-Jul-2021

GM will make a “multimillion-dollar investment” in and help develop Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) Ltd’s Hell’s Kitchen geothermal brine project near California’s Salton Sea. The project could be producing 60,000 tonnes of lithium – enough to make roughly 6 million EVs – by mid-2024.

FORD

11-Apr-2022

Ford will buy lithium from a Lake Resources NL facility in Argentina. The carmaker aims to purchase 25,000 tonnes annually of the white metal from Lake’s Kachi project in northern Argentina.

22-Sept-2021

Partners with startup Redwood Materials to form a “closed loop” or circular supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, from raw materials to recycling.

(Reporting by Nilanjana Basu, Yuvraj Malik and Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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