Rio Tinto, Mongolia resolve issues over $6.925B Oyu Tolgoi copper project; underground operations to start

Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) and the Government of Mongolia have reached an agreement that will move the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper mine project (earlier post) forward, resetting the relationship between the partners and increasing the value the project delivers for Mongolia. As a result, the OT Board, comprised... Read more →


Vulcan Energy granted research permit in Italy for potential integrated geothermal energy/lithium production site

Vulcan Energy Resources Limited, the company aiming to become the world’s first integrated lithium and renewable energy producer with a net zero carbon footprint (earlier post), has been granted research permit in Italy for the Cesano area located 20 km NNW of Rome. Vulcan’s current Zero Carbon Lithium Project aims... Read more →


PPG to supply Cellforce Group with new NMP-free cathode binder

Cellforce Group (CFG)—the joint venture between Porsche and CUSTOMCELLS (earlier post)—has partnered with PPG, a global supplier of paints, coatings, and specialty materials. PPG will supply cathode binder systems which are free of N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent, to the Cellforce Group. NMP, which is widely used in electrode manufacturing, has been... Read more →


EV Metals Group plc (EVM) launched the Australian Lithium Alliance, a strategic initiative to partner with Australian companies to accelerate exploration, development, mining, processing and production of lithium minerals. The strategic initiative will be implemented by Australian Lithium Alliance Pty Limited (ALA), a wholly owned subsidiary of EVM, through joint... Read more →


BYD wins Chile lithium extraction contract

Chile’s Ministry of Mining awarded China-based BYD a contract to extract up to 80,000 tons of metallic lithium. BYD won the contract—one of two awarded by the Ministry—with an offer of $61 million. The other lithium extraction contract, also for 80,000 tons, went to Chile-based Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del... Read more →


BHP, a world leading resources company, has invested US$40 million into Kabanga Nickel in Tanzania. The money will be used to accelerate the development of the Kabanga Nickel Project—the world’s largest development-ready nickel sulfide deposit. In parallel, BHP has invested US$10 million into Lifezone Limited to advance the roll-out of... Read more →


Talon Metals Corp., through its US subsidiary Talon Nickel (USA) LLC, entered into an agreement with Tesla for the supply and purchase of nickel concentrate to be produced from the Tamarack Nickel Project in Aitkin County, Minnesota. The execution of the agreement follows an extensive and detailed due-diligence period performed... Read more →


Battery Resourcers, a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials company, plans to open a commercial-scale, lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Covington, Ga. When the 154,000-square-foot facility is fully operational in August 2022, it will be North America’s largest battery recycling facility with capacity to process 30,000 metric tons... Read more →


Albemarle Corporation, a global leader in advanced lithium materials, and 6K, developer of microwave-controlled plasma technology, signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to explore the use of 6K’s patented UniMelt advanced, sustainable materials production platform (earlier post) to develop novel lithium battery materials through potentially disruptive manufacturing processes. Albemarle is... Read more →


FREYR Battery and Aleees to pursue LFP cathode manufacturing joint venture in Nordic region

Norway-based FREYR Battery and Taiwan-based Aleees, a producer of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode materials for batteries, have signed a Head of Terms agreement to pursue a joint venture with the ambition to establish an LFP cathode plant in the Nordic region. The joint venture partners will seek to commence... Read more →


British Lithium produces first lithium carbonate from mica in granite

In what is believed to be a world first, British Lithium has produced lithium at pilot scale from the mica in granite at a new pilot plant near Roche in the UK. Funded by Innovate UK, the pilot plant has taken just seven months to design and build and uses... Read more →


The Metals Company (TMC), an explorer of lower-impact battery metals from seafloor polymetallic nodules (earlier post), has completed its latest offshore research campaign, Environmental Expedition 5E, a targeted sampling campaign of both benthic and pelagic fauna with wider investigations to characterize ecosystem function on the abyssal seafloor. The completion of... Read more →


Led by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—with participation from Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)—the two-year HyBlend project will assess hydrogen compatibility with pipeline materials... Read more →


The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has released a demonstration tire with 70% sustainable-material content. The 70% sustainable-material tire includes 13 featured ingredients across nine different tire components, including: Carbon black is included in tires for compound reinforcement and to help increase their life and has traditionally been made by... Read more →


Global technology company ABB recently launched its Tundish EMS (electromagnetic stirring solution) to enable steelmakers to overcome the limited ability of the tundish vessel in controlling the flow of molten metal, and therefore steel quality and temperature. The tundish is an intermediate vessel between the steel teeming ladle and the... Read more →


Teijin begins life-cycle analysis of its carbon fibers

Teijin Limited has started to carry out a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of its carbon fibers to calculate their total carbon emissions—an industry first. Teijin previously calculated the carbon footprint of its carbon fibers used in sports, recreational and industrial applications and more recently its carbon fiber filaments used in aircraft... Read more →


POSCO to invest $830M in lithium hydroxide plant in Argentina

South Korea-based steelmaker POSCO will invest US$830 million in a lithium hydroxide plant in Argentina. The plant, near the Salar del Hombre Muerto salt lake in northern Argentina, will have an annual production capacity of 25,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide—sufficient to supply batteries for 600,000 electric vehicles, according to POSCO.... Read more →


Chinese lithium prices hit records as EV sales take off; nickel at 7-year high

Chinese lithium carbonate prices soared in 2021, due to a surge in demand for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in the country, according to the end-of-year analysis by Benchmark Minerals Intelligence. Transacted prices in China began to breach the RMB 200,000/tonne mark in November—a historical milestone for lithium pricing. Battery-grade... Read more →


Business Finland awards Keliber €7M to improve environmental protection in lithium hydroxide production

Business Finland has granted Keliber Technology Oy, a Finnish mining and battery chemical company that aims to start the sustainable production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide utilizing its own ore, investment funding of a maximum of €7 million. The funds are designated for the acquisition of technology that significantly improves environmental... Read more →


ArcelorMittal & partners receive €10M for green hydrogen production with Hybit in Bremen

As part of the Hybit (Hydrogen for Bremen’s industrial transformation) project, ArcelorMittal Bremen, swb AG and EWE AG have received a subsidy of more than €10 million from the state of Bremen for the construction of an electrolysis plant. The funding corresponds to about half of the total investment budget.... Read more →


The University of Michigan - Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI,) Professor Qianli Chen and her collaborators are proposing a new design principle for perovskite materials with high proton conductivity for use as electrolyte materials in solid oxide fuel cells. A paper on their work is published in... Read more →


Researchers led by Andreas Stierle at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) have laid the foundations for an alternative method for storing hydrogen, using iridium-seeded palladium nanocluster superlattices with 1.2 nanometer cluster diameters. The team, which also includes researchers from the Universities of Cologne and Hamburg, published its findings in the journal ACS... Read more →


To overcome the slow charging times of conventional lithium-ion batteries, scientists from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) have developed a new anode material for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that allows for ultrafast charging. Produced via a simple, environmentally sound and efficient approach involving the calcination of a bio-based... Read more →


Methane pyrolysis technology company Monolith, a leader in clean materials production (e.g., hydrogen, earlier post; carbon black, earlier post), has received conditional approval for a $1.04-billion loan from the US Department of Energy (DOE). Established via the Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program, the loan will allow Monolith to... Read more →


Australia-based Syrah Resources Limited signed a binding offtake agreement with Tesla to supply natural graphite Active Anode Material (AAM) from its vertically integrated AAM production facility in Vidalia, Louisiana. Tesla will offtake the majority of the proposed initial expansion of AAM production capacity at Vidalia at a fixed price for... Read more →


Rio Tinto to acquire Rincon Mining lithium project for $825M

Rio Tinto has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Rincon lithium project in Argentina from Rincon Mining, a company owned by funds managed by the private equity group Sentient Equity Partners, for $825 million. Rio Tinto said the acquisition demonstrates its commitment to build its battery materials business... Read more →


RUSAL opens new low-carbon aluminum smelter in Taishet

Russia-based RUSAL, a global aluminum producer, opened the first phase of its low-carbon aluminum production plant, Taishet Aluminum Smelter (TaAZ), in Taishet, Siberia. The smelter operates on clean energy from Siberian hydroelectric power plants, which together with modern gas cleaning equipment and a closed water circulation system, has a low... Read more →


BlackRock invests C$64.2 million in Sigma Lithium

Sigma Lithium Corporation (earlier post) announced that funds and accounts managed by BlackRock will make an additional total investment in the company of approximately C$64.2 million. This additional investment increases the size of its previously announced non-brokered private placement of common shares to approximately C$136.7 million (US$106 million). Sigma Lithium... Read more →


X-MAT successfully fabricates full cell battery with ceramic coal composite anode

X-MAT, the Advanced Materials Division of Semplastics, has successfully fabricated a full cell battery by combining a commercial cathode and its proprietary ceramic coal composite anode. X-MAT’s material has various current applications including fireproof roof tiles, lightweight space mirrors, battery electrodes and 3D printed ceramics. The basic production process involves... Read more →


Kati to cut its carbon footprint by half at Keliber’s lithium drilling site by using Neste renewable fuel oil

Oy Kati Ab, a long-term drilling contractor of Keliber, a company developing a European lithium project (earlier post), has started to use Neste MY Non Road Diesel renewable fuel oil in the drill rig at Keliber’s exploration site in Central Ostrobothnia. The measure will reduce the emissions caused by drilling... Read more →


In a study published in Nature Energy, researchers led by Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) describe how nanodiamond-reinforced composite membranes can purify hydrogen from its humid mixtures, making the hydrogen generation processes more efficient and cost-effective. This image offers an abstract visual representation of graphene oxide sheets... Read more →


New processing methods developed by MIT researchers could help ease looming shortages of the essential metals that power everything from phones to automotive batteries by making it easier to separate these rare metals from mining ores and recycled materials. Selective adjustments within a sulfidation process allowed professor of metallurgy Antoine... Read more →


The rapid growth of the hybrid and electric vehicle segment could potentially cause demand for electrical steel to outpace supply from 2025, according to a new report by a team of analysts from the Automotive Supply Chain and Technology team at IHS Markit. This potential shortage could severely affect OEMs’... Read more →


Ganfeng Lithium’s Ma Hong Factory adding 50,000 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide annual production capacity; 81,000t total capacity

Ganfeng Lithium’s Ma Hong factory, founded in 2012, is located in the High-tech Development Zone of Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province. After a project with an annual output of 50,000 tons of lithium hydroxide is put into operation, the total designed capacity of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in the plant will reach... Read more →


Galp and Northvolt establish JV for lithium conversion plant in Portugal; initial annual capacity of 35,000 tons of lithium hydroxide

Portugal-based energy company Galp and Sweden-based battery manufacturer Northvolt have agreed to set up a joint company, Aurora, that aims to become a steppingstone for the development of an integrated lithium-battery value-chain aligned with Portuguese and European ambitions. With the main goal of establishing Europe’s largest and most sustainable integrated... Read more →


JV of Finnish Minerals Group and CNGR Advanced Material to continue pCAM plant project

Finnish Minerals Group and China-based technology company CNGR Advanced Material have completed the definitive feasibility study (DFS) and decided to continue their collaboration for establishing a pCAM (precursor cathode active material—the preliminary stage of the cathode active material used in lithium-ion batteries) plant in Hamina, Finland. The plant project will... Read more →


Vulcan Energy Resources has agreed to acquire an operational geothermal renewable energy power plant in the Upper Rhine Valley at Insheim, Germany, through the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the entity which owns and operates the plant. A new Germany subsidiary of Vulcan, based in Karlsruhe, will be... Read more →


United States Steel Corporation, Norfolk Southern Corporation and The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. jointly announced a new, more sustainable steel gondola railcar. Using an innovative formula for high-strength, lighter-weight steel developed by US Steel, each gondola’s unloaded weight is reduced by up to 15,000 pounds. Gondola railcars transport loose bulk material... Read more →


General Motors and MP Materials (earlier post) have formed a strategic collaboration to develop a fully integrated US supply chain for rare earth magnets. Under the long-term agreement, MP Materials will supply US-sourced and manufactured rare earth materials, alloy and finished magnets for the electric motors used in the GMC... Read more →


Monolith, a leader in clean carbon black production, signed a collaboration agreement and letter of intent (LOI) with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world's largest tire companies. As part of the agreements, Monolith expects to collaborate with Goodyear on the development and potential use of clean... Read more →


American Battery Technology Company receives $2M USABC award to demo integrated Li-ion battery recycling technologies

American Battery Technology Company recently received a competitively bid $2-million contract award from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), for the commercial demonstration of its integrated lithium-ion battery recycling system and production of battery cathode grade metal products; the... Read more →


Umicore and Volkswagen AG to create European EV battery materials joint venture; large proportion of high-nickel chemistries

Umicore and Volkswagen AG plan to establish a joint venture to build up precursor and cathode material production capacities in Europe to supply Volkswagen AG’s European battery cell production. This partnership will be the first of its kind in the European automotive market. It will help achieve the ambitions of... Read more →


Vulcan Energy signs binding battery-grade lithium offtake agreement with Volkswagen Group

Vulcan Energy Resources (earlier post) has signed a binding lithium hydroxide offtake agreement with the Volkswagen Group. The Group comprises ten brands from five European countries: Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ŠKODA, SEAT, CUPRA, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche and Ducati. In Europe alone, the Group plans to establish six gigafactories with... Read more →


BASF to carve out mobile emissions catalysts business, invest up to €4.5B in battery materials and recycling

With the shift toward electromobility, the automotive industry is currently in the middle of its biggest transformation in history. As the largest chemicals supplier to the automotive industry, BASF will further strengthen its focus on battery materials and recycling and will establish a separate mobile emissions catalysts, automotive catalysts recycling... Read more →


Sigma Lithium begins construction of foundation and infrastructure for lithium production plant in Brazil

Canada-based Sigma Lithium Corporation (earlier post) has begun construction on site to build the foundation and infrastructure installation of its greentech dense media separation production plant, at its wholly owned Grota do Cirilo project in Brazil. The company has secured 38 critical long-lead items required for the project and begun... Read more →


CMI rare-earth elements separation technology licensed to Marshallton; diglycolamide extractants

A new technology for rare-earth elements chemical separation has been licensed to Marshallton Research Laboratories, a North Carolina-based manufacturer of organic chemicals for a range of industries. Developed by scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory in the Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI), the technology... Read more →


Iberdrola and H2 Green Steel to build 1GW green hydrogen plant to fuel DRI furnace for green steel; €2.3B investment

Iberdrola and H2 Green Steel (H2GS, earlier post)have signed an agreement to build a plant with an electrolysis capacity of 1 GW. Green hydrogen from the new plant will power a direct reduced iron (DRI) furnace with a capacity to produce around 2 million tonnes per year of pure pig... Read more →


ABB has launched ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop, the first smart factory digital application of its kind for the metals industry. It is designed to increase melt shop productivity, save energy and improve employee safety, with payback within six months. Based on advanced digital algorithms, the new solution is unique... Read more →


WSJ: China to create new state-owned rare-earths giant

The Wall Street Journal reported that China will create one of the world’s largest rare-earths companies with the aim of maintaining its dominance in the global supply chain of the strategic metals as tensions deepen with the US. Citing unnamed “people familiar with the matter”, the WSJ said that the... Read more →


Lithium prices continued to rise in November, with Chinese battery-grade prices surpassing the RMB 200,000/tonne (US$31,395/tonne) mark, according to Benchmark’s Lithium Price Assessment. Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence The rise in lithium carbonate prices could increase production costs of lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells by at least 16%, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence... Read more →