Vivas Kumar joins Benchmark Minerals from Tesla

Released: 08 April 2019 |

LONDON, UK | Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (Benchmark Minerals) is delighted to announce that Vivas Kumar has been appointed Principal Consultant. Vivas joins from Tesla, one of the world’s foremost electric vehicle (EV) and lithium ion battery producers.

Vivas was responsible for building Tesla’s lithium ion battery supply chain from May 2017 to April 2019, where he sourced a multi-billion dollar yearly spend portfolio of battery metals and chemicals, as the Gigafactory 1 scaled to become the world’s biggest battery plant and the Model 3 launched.… Read more

Volkswagen leads auto majors’ charge into lithium market

Volkswagen (VW) has taken a major step in securing the future of its bold electric vehicle (EV) production targets by locking in a long-term lithium supply deal with China’s Ganfeng Lithium.

While the details of the MOU have not been disclosed, the company said it would provide the foundation for the introduction of 70 electrified models over the coming 10 years.

VW Group Board Member for Components and Procurement, Dr. Stefan Sommer, said that the deal represented “crucial strategic significance for implementing Volkswagen’s electric offensive”.… Read more

Jose Hofer joins Team Benchmark from SQM as our forecasting division grows

Released: 02 April 2019 |

LONDON, UK | Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (Benchmark Minerals) is delighted to announce that José Hofer has joined from SQM, one of the world’s foremost lithium producers, and has been appointed Senior Analyst – Forecasting.

José was previously Business Intelligence Manager for SQM, based in Santiago, Chile.

At Benchmark Minerals, José will be responsible for our growing portfolio of quarterly forecasting subscriptions that presently include lithium, cobalt and graphite anode and will soon include a wider spread of critical electric vehicle (EV) and battery raw materials including nickel, copper, and manganese.… Read more

Megafactories on auto majors’ minds, Volkswagen need batteries, Tesla Model Y

There have been significant movements in the electric vehicle (EV) space with the launch of Tesla’s Model Y and Volkswagen Group’s (VW) plans to increase its pure EV offering building 70 new models over the next decade.

What you may have missed in the deluge of news was that both Tesla and VW stressed the need for their own lithium ion battery megafactories to fuel this growth.

Volkswagen hint at own megafactory production

As suspected for some time by Benchmark Minerals, VW are now publicly warming to the idea of their own captive lithium ion battery supply.… Read more

Australian spodumene concentrate exports continue to ramp up

Exports of spodumene concentrate from Australia continued to ramp up in 2018 – with three new mines beginning shipments from ports across Western Australia.

Incremental increases were seen from all three of the country’s established producers; with Greenbushes, Mt Marion and Mt Cattlin recording 12%, 22% and 4% increases in shipments respectively.

Whilst the 23% growth in exports year-on-year was modest in comparison to the dramatic 109% increase seen in 2017, the introduction of further supply from three new operations marks a defining year for an Australian market that, prior to 2017, had only a single operating mine.… Read more

Announced: China Graphite + Anodes Field Trip 2019

China’s graphite industry is changing.

Benchmark’s Graphite + Anodes Tield Trip, Inner Mongolia & Shanxi, 3-7 June 2019

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is pleased to announce that this year’s China Graphite + Anodes Field Trip will be held in Inner Mongolia and Shanxi provinces from 3-7 June 2019.

The trip will examine the full supply chain from flake graphite to spherical graphite and anode production, providing exclusive access to some of the country’s leading producers.

Companies included on the field trip include:

  • BTR
  • Rising New Energy
  • Hensen New Energy
  • Xincheng Graphite
  • Qinxin Graphite
  • Xincheng Special Carbon
  • …and more

The trip will be lead by Benchmark analysts and feature meetings, presentations and networking with some of China’s leading graphite companies and government officials.… Read more

China Becomes Major Lithium Carbonate Exporter, Benchmark Announces China Lithium Field Trip 2019

Here we take a look at recent developments in the lithium ion battery supply chain in China, followed with details of Benchmark’s upcoming field trip.

Benchmark Minerals’ China Lithium Field Trip 2019 field trip could not be timelier as China’s role in the lithium ion battery supply chain becomes increasingly prominent.

For the first time in 2018, China became a major exporter of lithium carbonate, with exports up over six-times to 11,131 tonnes. Over the same period imports were down 20%, showing China’s increasing self-sufficiency in the lithium carbonate market.… Read more

Rise of electric vehicles forces Honda to close UK car plant, shift base to Asia

Honda has described “unprecedented changes” in the automotive industry – also known as the rise of electric vehicles (EV) – as the decisive factor behind closing its UK manufacturing plant in Swindon, together with its operation in Turkey by 2021.

While the Honda closure has been seen as symbolic amidst the political and social tensions of the UK-exit from the European Union, there is a much larger trend at play: the energy storage revolution and the rapid shift to EVs.

“The significant challenges of electrification will see Honda revise its global manufacturing operations, and focus activity in regions where it expects to have high production volumes,” Japan’s second largest and the world’s 6th largest car manufacturer explained.

Read more

Energy density and the challenges of electrification for heavy duty vehicles

By Adam Panayi, Managing Director of Rho Motion

The topic of electrification for truck and buses comes up more and more frequently when we talk with people interested in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain; while the prospects for battery powered passenger cars and light duty vehicles are by now fairly clear, we see a more nuanced story for larger vehicle classes. In this spotlight we examine the key issues and practical applications for electrification within the heavy and medium duty space.… Read more

Benchmark cited by members of US International Trade Commission: graphite, cobalt & EVs

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has been cited by members of the United States International Trade Commission in the Journal of International Commerce and Economics.

The research paper “The Supply Chain for Electric Vehicle Batteries” in the Journal of International Commerce and Economics, December 2018, explores the electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain.

The timely paper is summarised as:

“Electric vehicles are a growing part of the passenger vehicle industry due to
improved technology, customer interest in reducing carbon footprints, and policy
incentives.… Read more