Portugal is set to offer licences for the exploration of lithium in the country in a bid to grab a share of the lucrative battery materials supply market for electric vehicles.
Mining behemoth BHP is stepping up investment in nickel mine development and exploration in Western Australia to become “a globally-significant battery materials supplier”.
Asset president of BHP’s Nickel West Australia mine-to-market business, Eduard Haegel, told a mining conference the group’s strategy is to secure supplies of a key battery material to supply increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs).
Mining firm Australian Vanadium is celebrating this week after achieving two milestones in its energy storage strategy.
The company has produced its first batch of vanadium catholyte from the pilot plant it installed last year at the University of Western Australia.
Canadian mining firm Alabama Graphite has manufactured and shipped three one-kilogram test samples of its Purified Micronized Graphite (PMG) to a US-based lithium-ion battery maker.
The unnamed company produces lithium batteries for military applications under contract from the United States Department of Defense (DoD).
Canadian battery manufacturer Electrovaya has delivered its lithium-ion battery technology at Glencore’s Raglan Mine in Quebec.
The lithium-ion battery technology solutions manufacturer has added the battery component to diesel generators in the $700,000 deal.
The 2.0 battery system technology has been installed at the mine in partnership with Tuqliq Energy Corp. and Hatch Ltd. who are engineering coordinators for the project.
When paired with a diesel generator the 2.0 system allows it to operate at maximum efficiency, reducing diesel consumption and lowering maintenance costs.
The 2.0 lithium-ion battery does not rely on specific components, instead, its innovation is independent of the cathode, anode and separator component selection which gave the product the ‘platform technology’ moniker.
The battery technology has been designed for use in remote mining operations, which have no grid connections and rely upon alternative energy sources.
The company says that its battery technology can store generated energy at an efficiency of greater than 90% to further improve energy efficiencies.
Lead supplies could fall into deficit for the first time in five years. Recycling of car batteries has stunted demand for raw resources but, with a growing market in Asia for electric bikes, industry demand for lead is rising.
The 2012 global lead market is set to record a surplus of 144,000 metric tons. The price has declined in recent years due to this surplus, with value falling from US$2 700/t to $1 900/t from last year.
Demand for electric bikes should reduce the surplus and push prices up, lead producers would welcome this as prices have fallen steadily since 2007 when it was valued at US$3 890/t on the London Metal Exchange.
With lead producing factories closing in China and environmental concerns hindering expansion, the demand for lead is outstripping supply.