Belgium multinational Umicore’s path to securing a raw and recycled lithium-ion battery materials supply chain saw two deals struck in as many weeks.
In a long line of deals in the past year, Umicore confirmed on 2 December it had completed the acquisition of the cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Kokkola, Finland.
The deal with Freeport Cobalt– a joint venture between Freeport-McMoRan, Lundin Mining Corporation and La Gènèrale des Carrières et des Mines– was first announced in May.
The $203 million deal, which includes a debt and cash free basis (including approximately $50 million of net working capital), was finalised following regulatory clearances.
Under the terms of the agreement, Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) separated its cobalt business and Umicore acquired the refinery and cathode precursor business, which represents around 60% of the refinery’s historical revenues.
Freeport Cobalt retains its cobalt business (which makes cobalt fine powders, chemicals, catalyst, ceramics and pigments) with operations in Kokkola and sales offices in the US, Europe and Asia.
The previous week, Umicore closed a deal with vehicle maker MG Motor India to explore ways of recycling end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles.
The deal, announced on 28 November, allows Umicore to focus on exploring end-of-life applications for used EV battery packs for environment-friendly battery disposal.
- Last month Umicore confirmed it would supply Samsung SDI with around 80,000 metric tonnes of NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) lithium-ion cathode materials next year.
- In September, Umicore announced it would begin delivering cathode materials for nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion batteries to LG Chem next year after signing a multi-year strategic supply agreement.
- In May, Swiss mining company Glencore signed a deal to supply cobalt hydroxide for Umicore’s battery materials operations. Umicore said the cobalt would be sourced from Glencore’s industrial mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo— including Glencore’s Mutanda mine.
- In October 2018, Umicore formed a joint technology consortium with the BMW Group and Swedish lithium-ion start-up Northvolt to develop a “complete and sustainable value chain for battery cells for EVs in Europe”.