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cobalt

BMW signs ‘transparent’ battery cobalt supply deals

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:35 -- John Shepherd
BMW signs ‘transparent’ battery cobalt supply deals

BMW is to buy cobalt for its electric vehicle (EV) batteries directly from mines in Australia and Morocco to ensure “complete transparency” about the origin of the raw material.

A spokesperson for the German carmaker told BEST Battery Briefing today the move to obtain supplies outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) would “eliminate any residual risks of human rights violations in the mining of cobalt”.

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Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:54 -- Hugh Finzel
Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Finnish companies Fortum and Crisolteq have teamed up to launch a materials recovery process claimed to make more than 80% of electric vehicle (EV) batteries recyclable.

Power company Fortum said the technology uses “a low-CO2 hydrometallurgical process”, developed by metal recycling services firm Crisolteq, to recover scarce battery metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium.

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Amnesty issues ‘ethical batteries’ challenge for EVs

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 16:17 -- John Shepherd
Amnesty International is calling for “ethical batteries” to be produced for electric vehicles (EVs) within five years— and a crackdown to prevent human rights abuses in raw materials mining.  Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said a “drastic overhaul”

Amnesty International is calling for “ethical batteries” to be produced for electric vehicles (EVs) within five years— and for a crackdown to prevent human rights abuses in raw materials mining.

Amnesty secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said a “drastic overhaul” of energy sources was needed “that prioritises protection of human rights and the environment”.

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LG Chem, Ford in blockchain pilot to trace ‘ethical’ battery materials

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Tech giant IBM has teamed up with battery maker LG Chem, the Ford Motor Company and others to use blockchain technology “to trace and validate ethically-sourced materials” for batteries and other products.

The group, which includes Chinese mining firm Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and auditing specialist RCS Global, is starting with a pilot focused on cobalt sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The move comes amid increasing pressure on electric vehicle producers and their battery suppliers to ensure an ethical approach for procuring raw materials— and hot on the heels of another ‘sustainable cobalt’ initiative launched by South Korea’s Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics, Germany’s BMW and chemicals group BASF.

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Cheaper BESS systems 'to rival fossil-fired peaking plants'

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Cheaper battery storage systems are less than 20 years away from becoming a "competitive" alternative to oil and gas-fired peaking plants, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) study.

The cost of battery storage is projected to “decline fast” by 2040 and global BESS capacity could reach 220 giagwatts by 2040, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018 said.

This would see batteries "increasingly compete with gas-fired peaking plants to manage short-run fluctuations in supply and demand"— with the scenario’s projected need for global peaking capacity set to increase by three-quarters compared to 2017.

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Korean-German partners launch ‘sustainable cobalt’ project in DRC

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korean firms Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics are teaming up with German car giant BMW and chemicals group BASF for a joint pilot cobalt mining project to “enhance sustainable mining” for batteries production.

The companies have signed a contract with the German overseas development support agency— Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)— to launch the pilot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

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Cabot Corp, Saft in US low-cobalt cathode research

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected speciality chemicals firm the Cabot Corporation as a technology partner to develop low-cobalt cathodes for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

Cabot will work with researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and French battery maker Saft for the project. Argonne will assist in the synthesis of low-cobalt cathode compositions, while Saft will assist in the manufacture of batteries to validate performance of novel low-cobalt cathode formulations.

The DOE said it is investing a total of US$80 million “to explore more sustainable, affordable options” than cobalt— and “ultimately improve access to electric vehicle technology”.

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‘Pragmatism needed’ to create EU battery industry

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Chris Herron

In a carefully worded swipe at the European Chemicals Agency (ECA), Eurometaux’s Chris Herron (pictured) has warned of the need for pragmatism with regard to the battery industry— when it comes to creating a low-carbon European future with batteries at the very centre of things.

Herron, public affairs manager for Eurometeaux, which represents the non-ferrous metals industry, told the International Congress for Battery Recycling in Berlin last week, a three-part solution was needed to create a new European battery industry— a circular economy, a battery action plan and a non-toxic environment— a loaded phrase, because Herron recognised that in order to make batteries, hazardous metals are inevitably involved.

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Project ‘eyes Indonesian nickel for batteries’

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:56 -- Hugh Finzel
PT Vale Truck

Two mining firms have reportedly started working on plans in Indonesia that could pave the way for launching a battery metals production facility.

Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining is conducting a feasibility study for the proposed project with PT Vale Indonesia, according to Reuters.

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Chinese lithium player signs Indonesia raw materials deal

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:27 -- Xuan Zhong
Chinese lithium player signs Indonesia raw materials deal

China’s Beijing Easpring Material Technology has moved to increase its grip on battery raw material supplies under a preliminary long-term deal with a Canadian project in Indonesia. 

Easpring’s non-binding offtake agreement with Pacific Rim Cobalt (PRC) will secure supplies of nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate— just weeks after Easpring unveiled expansion plans, saying demand for electric vehicles (EVs) had outstripped its existing lithium-ion cathode material production capacity.

 

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