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cobalt

Lithium-ion supply chain launches end-to-end cobalt traceability initiative

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 09:22 -- Paul Crompton
Lithium-ion supply chain launches end-to-end cobalt traceability initiative

Companies from the lithium-ion industry will pilot a system for tracing responsibly produced cobalt from the mine to the end product.

The Re|Source system will be piloted by metals and mining companies CMOC, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and Glencore in collaboration with battery material supplier Umicore.

An unnamed “global EV pioneer” and an unnamed “leading battery maker” are also part of the pilot. 

The pilot will run until the end of 2021, with the roll-out of the final solution expected next year.

The system will be tested in real operating conditions, from upstream cobalt production sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to downstream electric vehicle production sites.

Founded by CMOC, ERG and Glencore, and launched in 2019, Re|Source was later joined by Umicore, as well as the battery and EV company. 

The system uses various technologies, including: blockchain and Zero-Knowledge Proofs, to link digital flows with physical material flows on the ground. 

The system is supported by boutique technology studio Kryha, which is experienced in carbon footprint and metals traceability and known for projects with the World Economic Forum. 

Re|Source also has a direct link with the Battery Passport project of the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), through ERG, Umicore, Glencore and other Re|Source pilot partners, members of the GBA. 

Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, said: “Blockchain technology offers us an unprecedented ability for traceability in the supply chain. 

"Through this pilot, we are supporting the development of this tool for our customers who seek to understand and demonstrate the origin of the cobalt units in their products. 

"But traceability is not enough on its own, it must be part of a wider industry effort to bring improvements to the entire cobalt supply chain. 

"This starts with responsible sourcing compliance, for example through RMI; the collective use of wider ESG standards such as CIRAF and ICMM; and supporting the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sector through multi-stakeholder initiatives like the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA).”

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Nano One posts positive results on its cobalt-free lithium-ion battery

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 09:26 -- Paul Crompton

Test results for Canadian cathode powder maker Nano One have shown its high-voltage cobalt-free lithium-ion battery is stable at the elevated operating temperatures required for automotive, power tool and energy storage applications.

The results support ambient temperature results announced on 13 October, and further demonstrates the firm’s lithium nickel manganese (LNM) battery system.

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EV and lithium-ion battery OEMs launch artisanal cobalt mining project in DRC

Tue, 11/03/2020 - 10:07 -- Paul Crompton

Training of artisanal miners has begun in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of a cross-industry initiative to develop an independent, ethical and sustainable cobalt supply for the lithium-ion battery industry.

Training of twelve artisanal mining cooperatives involving more than 1,500 miners in Kolwezi, DRC, begun last month as part of the ‘Cobalt for Development’ initiative launched by vehicle OEM BMW and lithium-ion battery makers Samsung and BASF.

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Promising lithium-ion battery recycling results as research laboratory completes tests

Fri, 10/30/2020 - 10:37 -- Paul Crompton

Battery metals firm American Manganese (AMY) has reported its technology can extract 92% of lithium, nickel, and cobalt from NCA cathode scrap material.

The results were recorded by private sector research laboratory Kemetco Research after continuous operation of the leach stage of its AMY’s RecycLiCo process. 

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Key lithium-ion, lead-acid and VRFB materials placed on EU Critical Raw Materials list

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:34 -- Paul Crompton

Key lithium-ion, lead-acid and vanadium redox flow battery materials have been placed on the 2020 Battery Critical Raw Materials list by the European Commission.

Lithium, antimony, cobalt, natural graphite, and vanadium have all been placed on the list, which is composed every three years following a review of raw materials for their economic importance and concerns over supply risk.

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Japan discover cobalt supply that could feed its lithium-ion battery making demand for 88-years

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 14:31 -- Paul Crompton

Japan has announced the successful excavation of rare metals including battery critical materials cobalt and nickel from the seabed of its exclusive economic zone. 

The Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), commissioned by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, excavated about 650kg of cobalt-rich crust in July, according to the country’s news outlet The Japan News.

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Panasonic to boost energy density and develop cobalt free 2170 lithium-ion cells

Fri, 08/14/2020 - 09:53 -- Paul Crompton

Tesla’s long-term battery partner aims to increase the energy density of its 2170 cells by 20% within five years and commercialise a cobalt-free version within three years.

The bold claims by the head of Japan’s Panasonic’s US EV battery business, Yasuaki Takamoto, were reported by global news agency Reuters.

 

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BMW Group inks deal to secure ‘ethically’ sourced cobalt supply from Morocco

Fri, 07/17/2020 - 09:54 -- Paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM BMW Group has signed a €100 million supply deal to secure a ethically sourced cobalt supply from Morocco as the company extends its electric vehicle fleet.

The supply contract will see BMW firm source around a fifth of its cobalt needs for its electric drive trains from Moroccan mining company Managem Group. 

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Daimler focusing research on designing cobalt and lithium out of lithium-ion batteries

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 15:06 -- Paul Crompton

Mercedes-Benz, a subsidiary of Daimler, is researching ways to design cobalt and other “critical” materials like lithium out of lithium-ion batteries.

The German vehicle OEM is looking at a variety of post-lithium-ion batteries— mainly based on manganese— that use less critical resources as it investigates ways of increasing energy density of its technology.

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Manganese imbalance worse than cobalt in the lithium-ion battery materials supply chain

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 12:01 -- Paul Crompton

While the battery industry’s attention has been on cobalt, supplies of manganese— that other key raw material for lithium-ion manufacturing— is facing a potential shortfall.

A chart drawn up by industry analysts Benchmark Mineral Intelligence suggests manganese’s production capacity across the battery supply chain is as precarious as the highest risk raw materials of lithium and cobalt.

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