Umicore double down on European battery supply chain, Kokkola purchase confirmed

After many weeks of speculation, official announcements on 23 May from both Umicore and Freeport Cobalt confirm the sale of the Kokkola refinery in Finland to Umicore.

Umicore will purchase the refinery and battery precursor operations from Freeport Cobalt, whilst the cobalt fine powders, ceramics, pigments, chemicals and catalysts activities also on the site will continue to be operated by Freeport.

Purchasing Kokkola, the only large-scale cobalt refinery outside of China, enables Umicore to accelerate their battery supply chain plans in Europe.… Read more

Benchmark World Tour 2019 | North America | Download Presentations Here

The Benchmark World Tour 2019 concluded its North American leg and the presentations from the events are now available to download.

In its fifth year, our free seminar series on the lithium ion battery to electric vehicle and energy storage supply chain has become the world’s leading forum of its kind.

This year the seminars will focus on a three specific “New Eras” for the industry: rise of the lithium ion battery megafactories, the emergence of exchange traded mechanism and other financial derivatives for lithium, and the rapidly evolving long-term battery raw material contracts for the supply chain.… Read more

After cobalt, industry focus shifts to other battery minerals in responsible sourcing

By RCS Global Group

Ever since the launch of the OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains thirteen years ago, April has been a critical month in the field of responsible sourcing, and battery minerals have been at the centre of this focus. From copper to cobalt, but also lithium and nickel, this month has proved that downstream awareness of responsible sourcing risks beyond cobalt and 3TG is increasing while impacting the upstream sector and supporting the development of enhanced due diligence programs.… Read more

US Senator Murkowski launches American Mineral Security Act at Benchmark Minerals Summit in Washington DC

US Government Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced bipartisan legislation to secure its mineral resources and supply chains for the country’s 21st century auto and energy industries at the inaugural Benchmark Minerals Summit 2019 in Washington DC.

Senator Murkowski has led the push, in particular in her role as chair of the US Senate Committee of Energy and Natural Resources, to secure the supply of critical minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel and and reduce the US reliance on foreign sources.… Read more

Kidman to be acquired by Australia’s Wesfarmers

Australia’s largest company by revenue, Wesfarmers, has announced plans to acquire lithium developer, Kidman Resources, marking the first major lithium acquisition of 2019.

The deal between the multibillion-dollar conglomerate, which has major interests in chemicals, coal and fertilisers, could have wide repercussions for the global lithium market and the wider Australian resources sector.

Here, Benchmark Minerals outlines the key details of the deal and its potential impact on the lithium market:

  • As the largest Australian company by revenue, Wesfarmers adds a major stamp of approval to Kidman Resources and the lithium growth tailwind.
Read more

BMW announces it will buy cobalt directly from Australia and Morocco

BMW has announced that it will buy cobalt from mines in Australia and Morocco as it makes further steps towards securing its supply of battery raw materials.

This follows on from BMW’s announcement in September last year that it had agreed a five-year supply arrangement to source lithium hydroxide from China’s Ganfeng Lithium. It was only earlier this month that another OEM – Volkswagen – signed a memorandum of understanding with Ganfeng. These signs suggest auto manufacturers are treating battery raw material supply with more urgency as they undertake bold electric vehicle strategies.… Read more

Cobalt sourcing risks remain high on the agenda

By RCS Global Group

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is estimated to supply two thirds of global cobalt used for battery manufacturing. Unfortunately, the country also constitutes one of the weak links in responsible global supply chains. This past month is no exception although efforts by different stakeholders are taking shape to catalyse change and address concerns around cobalt responsible production and sourcing by upstream and downstream companies and stakeholders alike.

Incident monitoring highlighted the continuing high risks in the DRC not only in terms of serious human rights abuses but also weak Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practices and fragility of traceability systems.… Read more

New York, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Vancouver await Benchmark World Tour ’19

The Benchmark World Tour 2019 is on its way to North America.

In its fifth year, our free seminar series on the lithium ion battery to electric vehicle and energy storage supply chain has become the world’s leading forum of its kind.

Our North America leg will be our biggest yet and hear from key speakers in the lithium ion battery industry – this specialist downstream focus is a key feature of the Benchmark World Tour 2019.

We will visit the following cities: New York (Monday 6 May), Toronto (Wednesday 8 May), Chicago (Friday 10 May), San Francisco (Monday 13 May), Vancouver (Wednesday 15 May).… Read more

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