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AOTH----EV predictions show strained metals supply

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EV predictions show strained metals supply

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information



2020.01.28
One of the most prevalent current trends concerning mined commodities is the shift, driven by the effort to reduce our carbon footprint, is towards the electrification of the global transportation system.
Electrification is part of the solution to averting further global environmental damage/ collapse due to tailpipe emissions from the burning of fossil fuels in internal combustion engines. The Union of Concerned Scientists says cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US air pollution, emitting 24 pounds of CO2 and other greenhouse gases for every gallon of gas.
As sales of electric vehicles continue to climb (also electric buses, trains and e-bikes), among the metals we are most bullish on, are lithium, nickel, cobalt and copper.
Copper is utilized in an EV’s electric motor and wiring. An electric vehicle contains four times as much copper as a fossil-fueled model. We also can’t forget residential chargers and public charging stations which require a lot of copper - consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates that by 2030 there will be more than 20 million residential EV charging stations requiring 250% more copper. One of the largest manufacturers of public charging stations is targeting a 50-fold increase by 2025.
Lithium is obviously crucial in electrification due to its use in EV batteries. There is no substitute for lithium and it is expected to remain the foundation of all lithium-ion EV battery chemistries for the foreseeable future.
Nickel is popular with EV battery-makers because it provides the energy density that gives the battery its power and range. Increasing the amount of nickel in a battery cathode ups its power/ range but, add too much of it and the battery becomes unstable, ie. vulnerable to overheating and a shortening of its lifespan.
Nickel is used in both of the dominant battery chemistries for EVs, the nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery used in the Chevy Bolt (also the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3) and the nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) battery manufactured by Panasonic/Tesla.
Cobalt is a necessary ingredient in the battery cathode to provide stability and to maintain the battery’s cycle life - ie, how many times the battery can be discharged and recharged without loss of capacity.
Lately we have been writing a lot about current and expected supply crunches in several of the metals we’re following. That made us wonder, is electrification at the scale required to reduce our carbon footprint enough to make a difference even possible? Given all the current demands for them, do we have enough battery metals and copper required for the construction of electric vehicles, and all the associated charging infrastructure? Is the massive shift required to move transportation from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electrics setting ourselves up for gigantic bust, as scarcity of raw materials pushes the prices of EVs beyond the reach of the average consumer?
In this article we’re getting out our calculators and crunching the numbers.
EV predictions - low and high
Currently, less than 1% of the world’s vehicles are electric, but by 2030 they are expected to represent about 11% of new car sales, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie in a 2019 report. In 2018 global EV sales were just over 2 million units, about 2% of 86 million total vehicle sales including EVs and ICE vehicles. 11 million EVs is over five times as many, in a decade. Will demand, and sales, be that high?
We can’t know for sure - many EV predictions appear wildly optimistic. But we got to thinking, why not take a low end and a high end, pick two target years, in the not too distant future, then see how many tonnes of metals that would require?
On the low end is UBS, whose 2017 case study report ‘UBS Evidence Lab Electric Car Teardown – Disruption Ahead?’ is required reading for anybody concerned or curious about the effects of electric vehicles on their industry.
The report “tears down” the Chevrolet Bolt, a mass-marketed, affordable electric vehicle, analyzing just about every Bolt component. Its base case scenario for EV metals demand expects 14.2 million EVs to be sold in 2025, a penetration rate of 13.7% (of global car sales)
This compares to a recent report by New York-based Investment Management, forecasting a much more ambitious 37 million units will be sold in 2025.
We decided to use that 37-million-unit figure and push it out to a more conservative 2035, for our high-end, long-term scenario, and use the UBS figure for our low-end, short-term scenario. (By the way, an in-between forecast from the oft-quoted McKinsey’s Future Mobility Initiative has global EV production at 13-18 million units by 2025 and 26-36 million by 2030. So we’re in the ballpark)
Lithium
A Tesla S with a 70kWh battery uses 63 kilograms of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) - the standard industry measure of lithium production which includes lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, both used in EV batteries. The Chevy Bolt has a 60kWh battery so the weights are comparable.
According to Fastmarkets, a specialty metals industry data provider, global lithium supply in 2019 was expected to reach 363,000 tonnes per year. Using UBS’ 14 million-EV figure, the amount of new lithium carbonate required is:
14M EVs x 63kg = 882,000,000kg (882,000 tonnes) divided by 363,000t = 2.4 yrs of 2019 production.
By 2025 demand for lithium (just for EV batteries, not counting in any other demand), at the low end of our projected EV market penetration, could hit 871,000 t/yr, leaving a whopping great shortfall, unless 508,200 tonnes of new supply comes online between now and then.
Now suppose the 14-million EV figure is light, and after 10 years of Gigafactories and EV-makers pumping out more and more EVs, the number is 37M EVs in 2035.
37M EVs x 63kg = 2,331,000,000kg (2,3331,000t) divided by 363,000t = 6.4 yrs of 2019 production.
It’s true the lithium market is currently oversupplied, at about 300,000 tonnes of demand versus 363,000 tonnes of supply. This accounts for the price slippage in the lithium market recently. Some lithium miners are pulling in their sails, holding off on expanding operations until better prices return. Albemarle and SQM, the two biggest lithium producers, are both delaying plant expansions.
Australia’s Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) said earlier this month it is pausing operations at its Wodgina lithium project, a joint venture with US-based Albemarle, due to “challenging lithium market conditions.”
Market conditions are difficult primarily for two reasons: low prices due to oversupply from Australian hard-rock lithium producers, most of whom sell their spodumene concentrate to China; and reduced Chinese demand for lithium, after Beijing cut EV subsidies that made electric vehicles more affordable.
Demand has also been dented by bottlenecks in Chinese chemical conversion facilities, that make lithium hydroxide from spodumene concentrate.
A few years ago, Australian lithium producers thought they could make a profit mining pegmatites (lithium host rock) despite the higher capital and production costs of this “hard rock” lithium mining. Many ramped up production to take advantage of record-high prices, creating a supply overhang.
In 2017 top producer Chile lost its crown to Australia, home to the largest hard-rock lithium mining operation in the world, Greenbushes.
According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, by mid-2018, spodumene had overtaken brine as the leading source of lithium chemical feedstock production. From just one spodumene mine in 2016 - Greenbushes in Australia - the number of active hard-rock mines grew to nine by 2018 year-end.
Since then, the $400 plunge in spodumene prices has really hurt Australian lithium miners. They might be wishing they hadn’t all jumped on the spodumene wagon at the same time.
A more “political” obstacle is the social unrest happening in Chile, along with a newly invigorated resource nationalism, that has spooked would-be foreign investors. A uniform royalty and tax regime is also lacking.
Since lithium prices started climbing in 2014, Wealth Minerals is the only new player to receive permitting required to complete exploration work in the Salar de Atacama, having partnered with Chilean state mining company Enami.
The second largest producer also has problems with water. Chile’s underground lithium reservoirs need to be recharged by rainfall and snow melt from the Andes, but a study found more water was leaving the salar than returning, prompting water restrictions.
Neighboring Argentina is considered to be a risky place for mining companies to do business. Despite the end of 12 years of leftist rule, a shaky economy and a lack of regulatory clarity has meant the mining industry and its investors are hesitant.
In September thousands of protesters hit the streets of Buenos Aires demanding the government take action to address the deepening economic crisis, amid reports of rising hunger.
Also, lithium grades in Argentina are low, around 600 milligrams a liter, compared to Chile’s Salar de Atacama - the main production area - which average 863 mg/l.
How about Bolivia, the third side of the “lithium triangle” stretched across Chile, Argentina and Bolivia? Lithium contained in Bolivian salars are higher in altitude, not as dry, and contain more impurities, magnesium and potassium, than in neighboring Chile, making the extraction process much more complicated, and costly.
Recently a German company, ACI Systems, tried to kickstart lithium mining in Bolivia through a joint venture with state-owned lithium company YLB. The agreement had them planning to install four lithium extraction plants in the Salar de Uyuni - known to hold the world’s second largest lithium deposit - but Bolivia canceled the deal following a change of leadership at YLB, following the resignation of President Evo Morales.
That 737,000 tonnes of new lithium supply required to meet demand in 2025? It looks to be in serious jeopardy. Chile has become consumed with resource nationalism as it protects its national treasure, lithium, by denying processing plant expansions and restricting water usage. Lithium miners have joined in solidarity with protesters in country-wide work stoppages, as Chile is gripped with a wave of social unrest due to perceived and actual inequality. Mining unions in Chile frequently strike and there is no reason to suggest they won’t continue to walk picket lines in support of fellow workers.
The country has lost marketshare to its competitors; it now produces about 20% of the world’s lithium compared to 36% four years ago.
It’s no better in Bolivia, which just canceled a German-Bolivian joint venture, or Argentina, whose economy is a basketcase. Australia’s lithium miners are hurting due to low spodumene prices and have already started cutting production in response. Canada’s upstart Nemaska Lithium recently filed for bankruptcy.
With prices for hard-rock lithium mines low until the supply overhang can get sopped up, it falls to lower-cost lithium brine and claystone operations to meet the industry’s long-term supply challenges. But as we’ve just outlined, there are problems in South America’s salt flats, too.
Nickel
In September 2019, the average new passenger EV contained 14 kilograms of nickel in its battery, an increase of 20% over October 2018, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest ‘EV Battery Nickel Monthly’ report. 2018 nickel production was 2.3 million tonnes.
14M EVs x 14kg = 196,000,000kg (196,000t) divided by 2.3M = 8.5% of 2018 production.
37M EVs x 14kg = 518,000,000kg/ (518,000t) divided by 2.3M = 22% of 2018 production.
Nickel deposits come in two forms: sulfide or laterite. About 60% of the world's known nickel resources are laterites. The remaining 40% are sulfide deposits.
Large-scale sulfide deposits are extremely rare. Historically, most nickel was produced from sulfide ores, including the giant (>10 million tonnes) Sudbury deposits in Ontario, Norilsk in Russia and the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, known for its platinum group elements (PGEs). However, existing sulfide mines are becoming depleted, and nickel miners are having to go to the lower-quality, but more expensive to process, as well as more polluting, nickel laterites such as found in the Philippines, Indonesia and New Caledonia.
Nickel sulfide deposits provide ore for Class 1 nickel users which includes battery manufacturers. These battery-cos purchase the nickel product known as nickel sulfate, derived from high-grade nickel sulfide deposits. It’s important to note that less than half of the world’s nickel is suitable for the biggest growth market - EV batteries.
Tesla recently expressed concern over whether there will be enough high-purity “Class 1” nickel needed for electric-vehicle batteries.
According to BloombergNEF, demand for Class 1 nickel is expected to out-run supply within five years, fueled by rising consumption by lithium-ion electric vehicle battery suppliers. It’s clear that nickel is facing some growing pains since the industrial metal was burnished by its new-found use in the transportation mode of the future.
Nickel’s inroads are due mainly to an industry shift towards “NMC 811” batteries which require eight times the other metals in the battery. (first-version NMC 111 batteries have one part each nickel, cobalt and manganese).
But a lot of nickel will still need to be mined for stainless steel and other uses. Will annual world production of around 2.3 million tonnes be enough for everything? It seems unlikely. Consider that less than half of the total nickel output is Class 1 product, suitable for conversion into nickel sulfate used in battery manufacturing.
Class 1 nickel powder for sulfate production enjoys a large premium over LME nickel prices, but for miners to switch from lower-grade to battery-grade material requires huge investments to upgrade refining and processing facilities.
Last year, only around 6% of nickel ended up in EV batteries, as 70% of supply went into making stainless steel.
The nickel industry’s dilemma is therefore how to keep the traditional market intact, by producing enough nickel pig iron (NPI) and ferronickel to satisfy existing stainless steel customers, in particular China, while at the same time mining enough nickel to surf the coming wave of EV battery demand?
One possibility is to keep mining the more plentiful laterites and convert the nickel product into nickel sulfate, as the Chinese are planning to do in Indonesia.
Reuters reported on the $4 billion Chinese-led project to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals, that Indonesia hopes will attract electric-vehicle makers into the country, which is the second-largest car-maker in Southeast Asia.
However there is no simple separation technique for nickel laterites. As a result, laterite projects have high capital costs and therefore require large economies of scale to be viable. The technology for producing battery-grade nickel from nickel laterite ores is - despite being available since the late 1950s - unreliable.
High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) involves processing ore in a sulfuric acid leach at temperatures up to 270ºC and pressures up to 600 psi to extract the nickel and cobalt from the iron-rich ore.
The advantage of HPAL is its ability to process low-grade nickel laterite ores, to recover nickel and cobalt. However, HPAL is unable to process high-magnesium or saprolite ores, it has high maintenance costs due to the sulfuric acid (average 260-400 kg/t at existing operations), and it comes with the cost, environmental impact and hassle of disposing of the magnesium sulfate effluent waste.
Now, considering all the challenges in increasing nickel production, due mostly to the dearth of nickel sulfide deposits and the expense and disposal nightmare of mining laterites for conversion into nickel sulfate, pile on the amount of nickel required for EV batteries.
We’re talking 8.5% of 2018’s total nickel production of 2.3 million tonnes. That works out to 195,500 tonnes - more than the combined production of Canada and the US (179,000t). Go with the high-end EV penetration scenario, 22% of total production, and the amount of nickel demanded, 518,000 tonnes, is nearly as much as Indonesia, the top producer’s output of 560,000 tonnes. One mine takes 10 to 15 years to develop. In that time is it really possible to bring online nearly as much new nickel as the current two largest producers - Vale and Norilsk Nickel - which in 2017 mined a combined 536,000t? The possibility is incredibly unlikely.
Cobalt
The average Tesla consumes about 4.5 kg of cobalt, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. 2018 production of cobalt was 140,000 tonnes.
14M EVs x 4.5kg = 63,000,000kg (63,000t) divided by 140,000t = 45% of 2018 production .
37M EVs x 4.5kg = 1,665,000,000kg (1,665,000t) divided by 140,000t = 11.8 yrs of 2018 production.
According to Adamas Intelligence’s EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker, in April 2019 the NMC 811 cathode chemistry saw a 251% increase in deployment year over year. Despite holding just 1% of the passenger EV market by gigawatt hour deployed (GWh), the percentage of 811s is expected to rise further due to the release of the Nio ES6 battery electric vehicle (BEV) and the GAC Aion S BEV, both equipped with NMC 811 battery cells from China’s CATL, the largest EV battery manufacturer in the world.
EV-makers want to reduce the amount of cobalt in their batteries because it is over twice the cost of nickel, and the battery accounts for around half the price of an EV. Therefore, cathodes with nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistries (NCA) with ratios of 8 parts nickel to one part cobalt and one part aluminum (NMC 811) are expected to be the battery of choice for EV-makers going forward.
Apart from cost considerations, cobalt is likely to attract unwanted attention to the awful conditions of cobalt mining in the DRC, the world’s largest producer, including the use of child and slave laborers; the unstable African country has made cobalt the “blood diamonds” of the EV industry.
Tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Samsung are increasingly being asked to defend their supply chains to ensure they are sourcing cobalt responsibly. In December Cnet reported that International Rights Advocates, a non-profit, filed a lawsuit in a Washington court on behalf of 14 plaintiffs - guardians of children either killed or seriously injured in tunnel or wall collapses. The defendants in the suit, writes Cnet, are Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Tesla and Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Because it is mostly mined as a by-product of nickel and copper, end users are at the mercy of those markets. If the price of either base metal should fall, the incentive for mining cobalt will decrease, potentially making it hard to source supply.
For all of these reasons, some industry observers think cobalt’s days are numbered, but they’re wrong. That’s because cobalt is actually the “safe” element in the battery cathode. Reducing the amount of cobalt shortens the life of the battery cell. The battery has to last at least eight years - the industry standard - if not, the owner can replace it under warranty. Those battery replacement costs would likely negate any savings gained from using less cobalt.
A lithium battery for electric vehicles has to be both strong and long-lasting, through many charging cycles. It’s mostly the nickel that gives the battery its strength, and the cobalt that gives it stability and resilience, to ensure an industry-standard 8-year lifespan.
So, while Elon Musk claims Tesla can reduce the amount of cobalt in its Tesla 3 batteries to zero, to cut costs, the reality is that cobalt is an indispensable battery ingredient.
Formerly used mostly in superalloys for jet engines and hardware, over 50% of cobalt demand now comes from the battery sector. Expect that percentage to increase, not decrease, over time.
The vast majority of cobalt resources are locked within stratiform copper deposits in the DRC and Zambia. The remaining tonnage is found in nickel-bearing laterites in Australia and Cuba. The DRC accounts for about two-thirds of cobalt supply.
Indeed no metal exemplifies “supply insecurity” better than cobalt. China is heavily invested in the DRC, as it works towards its goal of mass EV adoption. China imports 98% of its cobalt from the DRC and produces around half of the world’s refined cobalt. For that reason cobalt could easily be targeted by China for export restrictions or an embargo (same as rare earths have been threatened), which would harm end-users that depend on a reliable, price-competitive cobalt supply chain.
The demand for cobalt is now directly correlated to the growth of lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles. According to Argus Media, the battery industry’s cobalt demand in 2018 grew 102% from 2017, to 16,629 tonnes.
Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Minerals, told the US Senate he thinks that cobalt demand will quadruple by 2028, as EV market penetration deepens. Benchmark projects global cobalt demand at 276,401 tonnes by 2028 - more than double the 105,000 tonnes of refined cobalt produced in 2017.
Returning to our electrification forecasts, 14 million EVs on the road by 2025 will require almost half (45%) of current annual cobalt production. The largest cobalt producer is the DRC, at 90,000 tonnes. All the other producers combined produce just 43,000 tonnes - ie. <63,000t required for 14 million EVs.
And that’s the low-end scenario.
Mining companies in the DRC and elsewhere will either have to significantly scale up production - notwithstanding big tech companies wanting to stay away from the “blood cobalt” DRC - or new deposits have to be found which will take several years to develop. If either fails to occur, demand is sure to outstrip supply. Cobalt prices will continue to rise - to the chagrin of battery - and EV-makers - who will pass on the higher costs to EV buyers.
Copper
Conventional gas-powered cars contain 18 to 49 pounds of copper while a battery-powered EV contains 183 pounds or 83kg. 2018 global copper production was 21 million tonnes.
14M EVs x 83kg = 1,162,000,000kg (1,162,000) divided by 21M = 5% of 2018 production
37M EVs x 83kg = 3,071,000,000kg (3,071,000) divided by 21M = 14% of 2018 production
Copper is used for electrical applications because it is an excellent conductor of electricity. That, combined with its corrosion resistance, ductility, malleability, and ability to work in a range of electrical networks, makes it ideal for wiring. Among electrical devices that use copper are computers, televisions, circuit boards, semiconductors, microwaves and fire prevention sprinkler systems.
In telecommunications, copper is used in wiring for local area networks (LAN), modems and routers. The construction industry would not exist without copper - it is used in both wiring and plumbing. The red metal is also used for potable water and heating systems due to its ability to resist the growth of water-borne organisms, as well as its resistance to heat corrosion.
EVs contain about four times as much copper as regular vehicles.
Copper is a crucial component for auto-makers because it is a fraction of the cost compared to silver and gold, which also conduct electricity. There is about 80% more copper in a Chevy Bolt compared to a Volkswagen Golf; an electric motor contains over a mile of copper wiring. According to Visual Capitalist, by 2027, copper demand for EVs is expected to rise by 1.7 million tonnes - almost the entire copper production of China in 2017.
Notable and likely unknown to most people is the amount being invested in public charging infrastructure, to deal with drivers’ range anxiety.
Wood Mackenzie states that US utilities have invested nearly $2.3 billion in EV charging infrastructure. The consultancy predicts that by 2030 there will be more than 20 million (residential) charging points consuming over 250% more copper than in 2019.
With each residential charger using about 2 kg of copper, that’s 42 million tonnes, or double the current amount of copper mined in one year.
One of the largest manufacturers of public charging stations, ChargePoint, is targeting a 50-fold increase in its global network of loading spots by the mid-2020s. A Level 2 charging station requires 7kg of copper, a DCFC station uses 25kg.
How are we going to find that much more copper? As we have written about extensively, copper is facing a supply crunch.
The base metal is heading for a supply shortage by the early 2020s; in fact the copper market is already showing signs of tightening - something we at AOTH have covered extensively.
Supply is tightening owing to events in Indonesia and South America, where most of the world’s copper is mined.
Copper concentrate exports from Indonesia’s Grasberg, the world’s second biggest copper mine, have plunged dramatically as operations shift from open pit to underground.
Major South American copper miners have also been forced to cut production. State-owned Codelco has said it will scale back an ambitious $40-billion plan to upgrade its mines over the next decade, after reporting a drop in earnings, a prolonged strike at Chuquicamata and lower metals prices. The world’s largest copper company also said it will reduce spending through 2028 by 20%, or $8 billion.
Shipments from BHP’s Escondida mine were expected to drop by 85% in 2019 due to operations moving from open-pit to underground. The largest copper mine on the planet is expected to take until 2022 to re-gain full production.
These cuts are significant to the global copper market because Chile is the world’s biggest copper-producing nation - supplying 30% of the world’s red metal. Adding insult to injury, for producers, copper grades have declined about 25% in Chile over the last decade, bringing less ore to market.
Exacerbating falling inventories, grades and copper market tightness, Chinese smelting companies have reportedly indicated they will cut smelter output this year, burdened by low fees they charge mining companies to process copper ores.
Meanwhile demand for copper keeps going up and up. Copper products are needed in homes, vehicles, computers, TVs, microwaves, public transportation systems (trains, airplanes) and the latest copper consumable, electric vehicles.
Consider the amount of copper needed to fix the global infrastructure deficit.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the US needs to spend $4.6 trillion between 2016 and 2024 in order to upgrade all its infrastructure to an acceptable standard. But only $2.6T has been earmarked, leaving a funding gap of $2 trillion.
Infrastructure is the physical systems – the roads, power transmission lines and towers, airports, dams, buses, subways, railways, ports, bridges, power plants, water delivery systems, hospitals, sewage treatment, etc. – that are the building blocks, the Lego pieces, which fuel a country’s, city’s or community’s economic, social and financial development.
Economic growth necessitates building more infrastructure to meet increasing demands on power, heat, water, roads and the like. As populations grow, they need more houses, hospitals, subway lines, roads, recreational facilities, sports stadiums.
How much metal will be required to upgrade US freight and passenger rail? We can only estimate but consider the amount of copper it takes to build a high-speed train network: 10 tonnes per kilometer of track. Powerful electric locomotives contain over eight tonnes of copper, according to the Copper Alliance.
Public transit is lacking in the US compared to Canada and Europe. New subway and light-rail systems are badly needed to get motorists out of their cars. Buses will also be in high demand.
A hybrid electric bus has 196 pounds, and 814 pounds of copper go into a hybrid-electric bus, mostly the battery. The Copper Alliance states that the largest EV maker, China’s BYD, used an estimated 26 million pounds of copper in 2016.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) consists of a vast network of railways, pipelines, highways and ports that would extend west through the mountainous former Soviet republics and south to Pakistan, India and southeast Asia.
Research by the International Copper Association found BRI is likely to increase demand for copper in over 60 Eurasian countries to 6.5 million tonnes by 2027, a 22% increase from 2017 levels.
There’s also the global 5G buildout. Upgrading cellular networks from 4G to 5G is expected to result in a vast improvement in service, including nearly 100% network availability, 1,000 times the bandwidth and 10 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) speeds. With 5G, it’s possible to download a movie in less than 4 seconds compared to about 6 minutes on 4G.
However 5G isn’t only about mobile speeds, it’s also the foundation for the “Internet of Things” that connects a multitude of industrial computer networks, and virtual reality (VR) applications across a wide swath of industries.
Microwave Journal explains:
The result of this is that, even though 5G is a wireless technology, its deployment will involve a lot more fiber and copper cable to connect equipment, both within the radio access network domain and back to the routing and core network infrastructure. Furthermore, 5G will require many more antennas than 4G ever did. That’s why this continuous demand for faster and more efficient connectivity across the world calls for state-of-the-art cable infrastructure to make 5G possible and to break down these barriers.
Artificial intelligence is not often associated with mining, but according to a 2019 report titled ‘The Geopolitics of Critical Metals’, [AI and 3G] will form the backbone of the next “industrial” revolution and their complex systems are voracious consumers of critical materials.
In Japan, demand for copper cables is seen growing 2.6% from 696,000 tonnes in 2018 to 714,000t in 2022, and copper for rolled copper alloy products growing 6% to 690,000t during the same period, according to the state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metal National Corporation, or JOGMEC.
S&P Global Platts quotes the chairman of the Japan Mining Industry Association saying that the demand for electric vehicles and the rollout of 5G telecommunication infrastructure will support future demand for copper, zinc, lead and nickel.
Another report by Roskill forecasts total copper consumption will exceed 43 million tonnes by 2035, driven by population and GDP growth, urbanization and electricity demand. Electric vehicles and associated network infrastructure may contribute between 3.1 and 4Mt of net growth by 2035, according to Roskill.
American lifestyle
It has been estimated that by the year 2050 our global population will reach 10 billion people.
The developing world’s urban centers are expected to burgeon, drawing 96% of the additional 1.4 billion people by 2030. Due to the overall growing global population - but especially an exploding urban population (urban populations consume much more food, energy, and durable goods than rural populations) - demand for water, food, housing, heat, energy, clothing, and consumer goods is going to increase at an astounding rate.
We already have one billion people out of today’s current population slated to become significant consumers by 2025.
Another 2.8 billion people will be added to the world between now and 2050. Most will not be Americans but they are going to want a lot of things that we in the Western developed world take for granted – electricity, plumbing, appliances, AC etc.
But what if all these new one billion consumers were to start consuming, over the next 10 years, just like an American? What’s going to happen to the world’s mineral resources if one billion more ‘Americans’ are added to the consuming class? Here’s what each of them would need to consume, per year, to live the American lifestyle…
One billion new consumers by 2025. Can everyone who wants to, live an American lifestyle? Can everyone everywhere else have everything we in North America have?
If we mined every last discovered, and undiscovered, pound of land-based copper, the expected 8.2 billion people in the developing world would only get three quarters of the way towards copper use parity per capita with the US.
Of course the rest of us, the other 1.8 billion people expected to be on this planet by 2050, aren’t going to be easing up, we’re still going to be using copper at prestigious rates while our developing world cousins play catch up.
Now add an extra 1.1 million tonnes of copper demanded by 14 million EVs by 2025 - just five years away - in the low-EV scenario of 14 million units. And another 42 million tonnes of copper to be deployed for the 20 million charging points predicted by Wood Mackenzie? The numbers are starting to get stupid.
Critical minerals collaboration
The mining of critical minerals is finally getting the attention it deserves after many years of neglect by Canada and the United States. The lack of a plan to build a domestic supply chain of metals to serve the clean, green economy of the future has put North America far behind China, a country that has prioritized having a ready and plentiful supply of materials deemed essential to the economy and defense of a nation.
The deficiency is a fact North American politicians have just woken up to, and a subject we at AOTH have been writing about for over a decade.
On Jan. 9, Canada and the United States announced the Canada-US Joint Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, to advance “our mutual interest in securing supply chains for the critical minerals needed for important manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defence, and clean technology,” reads a press release from Natural Resources Canada.
The announcement follows a June 2019 commitment by Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump to collaborate on critical minerals.
Reducing dependence
In fact the Trump administration was ahead of Canada in pin-pointing the lack of domestic supply and how that poses a threat to national security.
In 2017 Trump signed an executive (presidential) order to develop a strategy to ensure a secure and reliable supply of critical minerals, within 180 days. The directive was issued the day after the US Geological Survey published an updated assessment of the country’s critical minerals resources. In its report, the USGS said of 23 minerals analyzed, the US relies on foreign supplies for at least 50% of all but two: beryllium and titanium. The list was later widened to 35 critical minerals.
What collaboration means
Cutting through the government-speak, the main points of interest to mining investors are:
  • The Joint Plan will guide efforts to secure critical minerals supply chains for “strategic industries” (undefined) and defence.
  • The Canadian mining sector is setting up a task force to work with Ottawa and Washington, to identify critical minerals projects and study “how to overcome some of the R&D challenges to drive down costs and be competitive with China,” the Globe and Mail reported, quoting Pierre Gratton.
  • In December Canada joined the US-led Energy Resource Governance Initiative, which aims, through multiple countries, to promote supply chains for critical energy minerals such as uranium.
  • Along with Canada, the US is seeking alliances with Australia, Japan and the European Union, which also fear mineral dependency on China.
  • Canada supplies 13 of the 35 minerals the US has identified as critical. They are:

“This is about the U.S. wanting to make sure it has access to a reliable supply of metals for its defence industries and manufacturing sector,” Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada, told the Globe and Mail.
Gratton said Canada is well-positioned to benefit from collaborating with the US, and the US-Canada collaboration on critical minerals is particularly interesting to us at AOTH.
Conclusion
At the start of this article we asked a simple question: Given the current demands for copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt, do we have enough supply required for the construction of electric vehicles, and all the associated charging infrastructure? Is the massive shift required to move transportation from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electrics setting ourselves up for gigantic bust, as scarcity of raw materials pushes the prices of EVs beyond the reach of the average consumer?
The answer, in our humble opinion is while it’s within the realm of possibility (though highly unlikely) for the mining industry to meet the metals demand required by a low-EV scenario of 14 million units by 2025, anything beyond that is virtually impossible.
For lithium, there are supply problems in all the main producer countries - Australia, Chile and Argentina. China has pretty well cornered the market on nickel sulfate production, with all the nickel processing facilities it is planning for Indonesia. Even if somehow laterite nickel ores could be en masse converted to battery-grade nickel, without destroying nickel companies and the environment, at the very least nickel sulfate prices will eventually spike to unsustainable levels.
The cobalt supply is likely to get tighter as more companies shun the DRC and try to get the essential EV ingredient elsewhere. Copper’s long-term structural supply deficit plus skyrocketing demand for infrastucture build-outs, EVs, 5G networks and insatiable demand for Western-type consumer goods, will likely support higher copper prices for a long time.
As for finding new sources of supply for these four metals essential for electric vehicles, North America is a great mining jurisdiction, but we are hampered by over-regulation in both Canada and the United States. The Trudeau government’s Bill C-69, which recently became law, and critics say Bill C-69 will create more red tape, broadens the scope of the environmental assessment process and adds more consultation with the public and particularly indigenous groups.
In the US, the Republicans under Trump have proposed the Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI) as part of a government-wide action plan to reduce US reliance on imported critical minerals.
The ERGI’s mandate is to share mining expertise with countries in the group. So, the United States is going to help countries like the DRC, Namibia and Brazil - all of which have been courted by and “married” to China through numerous mineral offtake agreements and loans - to discover and develop mineral deposits of lithium, cobalt and copper, presumably so they can sell more of said minerals to their lead benefactor, China!
Following the model set out by the ERGI would only accelerate China’s lead over the United States viz a viz cutting deals with foreign mining assets.
Given this asinine approach to critical minerals, Bill C-69, and a mining law proposed by Democrat Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), which restricts mining in certain areas and limits leases to 20 years, we don’t hold much hope in mining getting a boost in North America.
We just don’t see the herculean ramp-up required by the mining industry to meet the needs of electrification happening. If supply continues to lag demand, EV components will get more expensive, with prices passed on to consumers, thus threatening the entire electrification plan which was to bring affordable EVs to the masses. Wouldn't that be ironic?

Richard (Rick) Mills
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https://aheadoftheherd.com/Newsletter/2020/EV-predictions-show-strained-metals-supply.htm
 

Au-myn

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#3
A longer term look at Copper on this 3 x .07 Point & figure currently shows a double bottom as the last attempt to penetrate the LT bearish resistance line failed. A fall to 2.45 would indicate a sell signal.

c.png
 

Buck

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#5
the vehicles will be made but, we'll get the Privilege of Sharing Them between ourselves...there won't be enough for all of us

so

i'm already planning on swinging a deal to rent pedal cars, create a franchise and cash in...
:2 thumbs up:
 

gnome

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#6
Batteries are the primary restraint on growth of EV's - in both cost and production capacity.
The world will go from a million EV's sold per year to 10 million in 5 years - if they can get the raw materials.

Cobalt is expensive and there are ethical issues with child labor and such.
There will still be a market for a few years, but battery manufacturers are trying to move away from cobalt.
CATL is already producing cobalt-free batteries for Tesla in China.

Lithium will be needed in large volumes, but it's abundant, and production got ahead of slowly rising demand.

Nickel may be the most crucial limiting factor for batteries.


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...rges-as-tesla-boosts-production-idUSKCN24O0RV
'Please mine more nickel,' Musk urges as Tesla boosts production
Yilei Sun, Melanie Burton
4 MIN READ
BEIJING/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) boss Elon Musk urged miners to produce more nickel, a key ingredient in the batteries that power the company’s electric cars, warning the current cost of batteries remained a big hurdle to the company’s growth.

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla car is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Musk said on a post-earnings call on Wednesday.

Nickel makes batteries energy dense so cars can run further on a single charge, and Tesla needs the metal more than ever as it looks to ramp up production of trucks and solar projects that use a lot of nickel.

Musk’s call for greater nickel mining comes even as prices for battery materials wallow around rock bottom.

However, traders and analysts say the kinds of volumes Tesla would need are unlikely to make a compelling business case for miners to invest in increased production, nor are they likely to boost prices in the medium term.

Tesla currently sources nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries from South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd (051910.KS) and nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) batteries from Japan’s Panasonic Corp (6752.T).

These companies indirectly buy nickel from mining companies in a long auto supply chain. Tesla doesn’t disclose which nickel miners are in its supply chain.

Given Tesla’s focus on sustainability, the company is likely to prefer to buy from miners of higher-grade nickel sulphide, which requires less power to process than laterite ore, said Lachlan Shaw of National Australia Bank.

There are three key suppliers - Brazil’s Vale (VALE3.SA), which operates in Canada using some hydropower, Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM) and BHP Group’s operations (BHP.AX) in Western Australia. “Vale is in the box seat,” he said.

While electric vehicles consume a much smaller amount of nickel than traditional industries such as stainless steel makers, EVs are expected to be the quickest growth market for nickel miners.

Nickel consumption in EV battery materials is expected to soar 64% between 2019 and 2025, research firm Wood Mackensie said, although it added that satisfying this demand could be challenging for an industry that has been slow to add capacity in a timely and cost-effective manner.

“He needs nickel, so he hopes nickel prices will go lower and lower,” said a China-based nickel trader. “Prices will not be impacted in the short-term because the market is in surplus.”

Nickel hit a 14-month low of $10,865 a tonne CMNI3 in March but has since recovered to $13,180, still down by some 30% from five-year peaks seen in September. Prices rallied 2.6 percent partly on Tesla’s bullish outlook, a trader said.

Tesla on Wednesday posted a second-quarter profit, but Musk said he would prioritise growth over profit going forward, and focus on making Tesla vehicles more affordable.

ADVERTISEMENT


“The real limitation on Tesla growth is cell production at affordable price. That’s the real limit,” Musk said, adding the company would expand its business with Panasonic (6752.T) and CATL (300750.SZ) and “possibly with others”.

Tesla is expected to reveal technological advances at its “Battery Day” event in September.
 

Voodoo

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What Tesla's don't use Nickel Batteries? :don't    know2: They use Lithium because the weight would be far too prohibitive for nickel batteries.
 

gnome

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What Tesla's don't use Nickel Batteries? :don't    know2: They use Lithium because the weight would be far too prohibitive for nickel batteries.
Nickel is used in the cathode of lithium ion cells.
 

Voodoo

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Nickel is used in the cathode of lithium ion cells.
Yeah but that's not a large amount of nickle. And that article said they were buying nickle batteries. Perhaps they just misstated and meant cathodes. It's a small amount of nickle.
 
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.41Dave

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#11
Yeah but that's not a large amount t of nickle. And that article said they were buying nickle batteries. Perhaps they just misstated and meant cathodes. It's a small amount of nickle.
Per the article:
"In September 2019, the average new passenger EV contained 14 kilograms of nickel in its battery, an increase of 20% over October 2018, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest ‘EV Battery Nickel Monthly’ report.
30+ pounds of nickel per car seems like a lot of nickel to me.
 

Voodoo

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#12
Per the article:

30+ pounds of nickel per car seems like a lot of nickel to me.
They also called it a Nickel battery. I suppose if you have 500 lb's (ok a quick Google search says the Tesla's have battery weights of 1100-1700 lbs) of batteries you might be getting close. Unless you are talking about Nickel in any part of the car, but regular cars are going to have a bunch of Nickel then as well. A bunch of stainless steels have substantial Nickel. So 30 lbs of a 1,100 to 1,700 lb battery does seem about right.

Generally it looks like the Cathodes are typically LiNiMnCoO2. And the electrodes are just a thin layer on the outside of the conducting membrane.

The original article does indicate that the newer electrodes use mostly 8 Ni with just a little 1 MN and 1 CO (likely there to keep the right structure). Nickle is easier to obtain and cheaper than those two metals I believe. The old ratio was 1:1:1.
 
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Voodoo

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#13
But the demand for Stainless Steel is still going to FAR dominate the Nickel market. Plus any number of other products as well. This is just Elon being Elon.

So if Tesla delivered 367,500 cars last year that is a total demand of 11 million lbs of Nickel. That's less than 5000 metric tons. Last year the largest Nickel miner (Vale) alone produced 244,000 metric tons. In other words a drop in the bucket.
 
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gnome

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But the demand for Stainless Steel is still going to FAR dominate the Nickel market. Plus any number of other products as well. This is just Elon being Elon.

So if Tesla delivered 367,500 cars last year that is a total demand of 11 million lbs of Nickel. That's less than 5000 metric tons. Last year the largest Nickel miner (Vale) alone produced 244,000 metric tons. In other words a drop in the bucket.
Right now it's a drop in the bucket.
Though the number is already outdated by about 130,000 vehicles. EV market is growing exponentially. Tesla at around 50% per year.
Not to mention grid storage batteries, both residential and grid scale batteries in the range.
Grid scale batteries are measured in hundreds of GWh, not tens of KWh - they used standard EV cells.
 

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Even if you believe this below, that is no where NEAR exponential growth. That will have some effects but mostly on Li and maybe Copper. And I think they will be extremely lucky to see that many EV sales. I don't see the demand. It's not like this is a new tech like a cell phone, cars have been around for the last industrial revolution.

"Currently, less than 1% of the world’s vehicles are electric, but by 2030 they are expected to represent about 11% of new car sales, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie in a 2019 report. In 2018 global EV sales were just over 2 million units, about 2% of 86 million total vehicle sales including EVs and ICE vehicles. 11 million EVs is over five times as many, in a decade."
 

gnome

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So EV won't burn fossil fuels. Where's the electricity coming from?
Depends on the state, but increasingly it's natgas or renewables.

glbet6ginh941.jpg


Any studies on the costs of manufacturing EV's vrs combustion engines?
Electric engines are cheaper, far more efficient, require less maintenance and last longer.
The costs are primarily in the battery. $100/kwh is considered the point at which EV's can compete on sticker price with ICE's.
GM, VW and Tesla all claim to be close to that number. It's really just a question of when, not if. And when is gonna be sooner than later.

EV's basically already beat ICE's in terms of total cost of ownership after 5 years. For example, Tesla Model 3 cost of ownership over 5 years is equal to a Toyota camry (and why the hell would anyone want a Camry over a Model 3?!). Same for Cybertruck and Ford F150, but Cybertruck is not in production yet. Of course, breakeven point will vary based on how many miles one drives and price of gas. JMO, I could be wrong.
 

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For example, Tesla Model 3 cost of ownership over 5 years is equal to a Toyota camry
Statements like this are based on models and assumptions that can be changed to totally alter the end result. It would be nice to include those assumptions so the reader could determine if they apply to him. I found an article with a similar claim that reveals some of its assumptions at https://loupventures.com/tesla-model-3-cost-of-ownership-slightly-cheaper-than-a-camry/

Some of the assumptions:
- Purchase is financed, with specifics like down payment and interest not stated
- Tesla depreciates 51% over the 5 years
- Camry depreciates 63.8% over the 5 years
- Approximate annual mileage driven is 16,000 (not stated, reverse-engineered by me)
- Gas prices will increase annually (no such statement about electric prices)
- Camry's maintenance/repair costs are 3x Tesla's

Things that aren't mentioned at all:
- Assumed gas price
- Assumed electric price

Gas prices vary widely by region. Electric prices vary widely by region. Insurance prices vary widely by region and driver profile. Maintenance costs vary by how the car is used. Financing varies from no financing at all to 100% financing. The depreciation numbers, even if correct, are valid only if the car is sold after 5 years. So much pulled out of thin air data going in, with a meaningless applies-to-everybody answer coming out.
 

gnome

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Statements like this are based on models and assumptions that can be changed to totally alter the end result. It would be nice to include those assumptions so the reader could determine if they apply to him. I found an article with a similar claim that reveals some of its assumptions at https://loupventures.com/tesla-model-3-cost-of-ownership-slightly-cheaper-than-a-camry/

Some of the assumptions:
- Purchase is financed, with specifics like down payment and interest not stated
- Tesla depreciates 51% over the 5 years
- Camry depreciates 63.8% over the 5 years
- Approximate annual mileage driven is 16,000 (not stated, reverse-engineered by me)
- Gas prices will increase annually (no such statement about electric prices)
- Camry's maintenance/repair costs are 3x Tesla's

Things that aren't mentioned at all:
- Assumed gas price
- Assumed electric price

Gas prices vary widely by region. Electric prices vary widely by region. Insurance prices vary widely by region and driver profile. Maintenance costs vary by how the car is used. Financing varies from no financing at all to 100% financing. The depreciation numbers, even if correct, are valid only if the car is sold after 5 years. So much pulled out of thin air data going in, with a meaningless applies-to-everybody answer coming out.
Agreed. I specifically mentioned the variables of gas cost and number of miles driven. YMMV and DYODD applies here.
 

tigerwillow1

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#21
Agreed. I specifically mentioned the variables of gas cost and number of miles driven. YMMV and DYODD applies here.
It might look like I'm against electric cars. What I'm against is unrealistic over-promotion, and politically motivated promotion. Right now I think the plug-in hybrid is the way to go, and I've been eyeing the new RAV4 prime as a nice looking solution. Looks like any reasonable availability is it least a year out yet. One big concern I have is the big Li-ion battery. I accidentally punctured one that was about 1-1/2 inches square and 3/8 inch thick, and the ferocity of the fire was spectacular. I dread the thought of a car-sized battery catching fire in the garage. I think the whole house would be gone in a few minutes.
 

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It might look like I'm against electric cars. What I'm against is unrealistic over-promotion, and politically motivated promotion. Right now I think the plug-in hybrid is the way to go, and I've been eyeing the new RAV4 prime as a nice looking solution. Looks like any reasonable availability is it least a year out yet. One big concern I have is the big Li-ion battery. I accidentally punctured one that was about 1-1/2 inches square and 3/8 inch thick, and the ferocity of the fire was spectacular. I dread the thought of a car-sized battery catching fire in the garage. I think the whole house would be gone in a few minutes.
My dad has a RAV hybrid and loves it.
Hybrid makes sense in many cases.
Big cost declines and performance improvements in batteries will happen the next 5 years, which is why I'm in no rush to go electric personally. Also, I drive under 6,000 miles a year in a reasonably efficient ICE car that averages over 36mpg. Can probably last another 100,000 miles.
 

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#23
Damn, I had heard rumors on this one did not buy. Just a wee 350% gap up. Tesla just placed a big order.
 

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Voodoo

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#24
Clearly people found out about that a couple weeks ago. Leave it to Tesla to announce an some weird supply with a company that's never mined an ounce. I do think that owning Lithium stocks is a better way to play this area than buying Tesla or any car company.
 

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Damn, I had heard rumors on this one did not buy. Just a wee 350% gap up. Tesla just placed a big order.
any insight into why there's no action before the rise?

Screen Shot 2020-09-28 at 4.29.59 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-09-28 at 4.28.01 PM.png
 

gnome

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#26
Clearly people found out about that a couple weeks ago. Leave it to Tesla to announce an some weird supply with a company that's never mined an ounce. I do think that owning Lithium stocks is a better way to play this area than buying Tesla or any car company.
I trade LIT etf and ALB and done well in both.
I was too early in LIT and was underwater for a year on that. Lithium miners got ahead of demand and prices tanked.
Maybe they will get traction as demand ramps but there are a lot of miners and a lot of lithium out there.
I think nickel is the stronger mining play.
 

engineear

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#27
Tesla said they can extract lithium from clay and put the dirt back to keep the tree huggers happy...many thousands of acres for them in Nevada.

Also, longer life and longer range coming.

It's all good till the EMP hits....then, not so much.
 

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#28
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-takes-stake-battery-metals-230100200.html
U.S. Takes Stake in Battery-Metals Firm to Wean Itself Off China
Bloomberg
Eddie Spence
,Bloomberg•October 4, 2020

U.S. Takes Stake in Battery-Metals Firm to Wean Itself Off China
More
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government has taken an equity stake in a battery-metals company in a move that undercuts dependence on China for a key material used in electric vehicles.

TechMet Ltd. received a $25 million investment from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to help develop a Brazilian nickel and cobalt mine, the Dublin-based company said Monday in a statement. Cobalt is an important ingredient in cathodes of most electric-vehicle batteries and its refining capacity is largely under China’s control.

“Investments in critical materials for advanced technology support development and advance U.S. foreign policy,” Adam Boehler, chief executive officer of the government agency, said in TechMet’s statement.

The move is another example of U.S. efforts to reduce reliance on its greatest geopolitical rival for key materials and comes days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand domestic production of rare-earth minerals -- another sector China dominates. Such minerals are needed for magnets in a broad range of products including electric vehicles.

TechMet’s main investments include lithium-ion battery recycling plants in Canada and the U.S., a Rwandan tin and tungsten mine and a U.S. vanadium facility. Most metals targeted by the company fall under China’s influence at some stage of the global supply chain -- a fact TechMet CEO Brian Menell is keen to highlight.

“TechMet represents a real opportunity for its investors not only to profit from the impending supply-demand dislocation for critical metals, but also to invest into ethical sources of supply that are aligned with U.S. interests, thereby playing a part in redressing the supply-chain imbalance,” he said in the statement.
 

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#29
Tesla said they can extract lithium from clay and put the dirt back to keep the tree huggers happy.
now, i know, for certain, you know what you're referencing, however, lithium, clay and dirt are three separate things, and typical of Elon, I can see how he would have said exactly what you typed

However:
Some of us know how an extraction system works, with water, creating a waste slurry that can be used to backfill anything, and, basically, it's good until it completely drys out and sags, sinks, cracks. etc

It won't properly hold weight and at the end of the day, it can, and often does, crumble as a structure, while as a foundation, it fails, because it's nothing more than silt that's sitting in a hole, waiting for a moment to liquefy...


and trees don't usually grow in this muck, tree's don't grow in clay and sterile dirt, well, it's sterile, no nutrients to support growth


and when was the last time anyone heard of a miner filling the cave back up?

it's Elon, Come On Man!
 

gnome

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#30
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/10/12/electric-cars-will-treble-market-share-this-year-in-europe/
Electric Cars Will Treble Market Share This Year In Europe
October 12th, 2020 by Guest Contributor

Originally published on Transport & Environment.
By Eoin Bannon

Also available in French, German, Italian, and Polish

EU standards are driving electric cars towards 10% of sales, and 15% in 2021.
But lax targets for 2025 and 2030 would see EV sales stagnate for a decade.
BMW, PSA, Volvo and FCA-Tesla pool already compliant with 2020 target as of H1.
Electric cars will treble their market share in Europe this year as a result of EU car CO2 targets, new analysis shows. Despite the pandemic, EV sales have surged since 1 January, just as the emissions standards kicked in, and will reach 10% this year and 15% in 2021. Transport & Environment (T&E), which analysed sales in the first half of 2020 as well as carmakers’ compliance strategies, said it shows ambitious CO2 standards work but there’s a risk EV momentum runs out of steam after 2021 due to lax EU targets for 2025 and 2030.

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for clean vehicles at T&E, said: “Electric car sales are booming thanks to EU emissions standards. Next year, one in every seven cars sold in Europe will be a plug-in. EU manufacturers are back in the EV race, but without more ambitious CO2 targets in 2025 and 2030 to spur them on, they’ll run out of steam as soon as 2022.”



PSA Group, Volvo, FCA-Tesla and BMW Group are already complying with the EU’s target for average emissions of new cars, based on their sales in the first half of 2020, T&E’s analysis shows. Renault, Nissan, the Toyota-Mazda pool and Ford have a small gap to close of 2 grams of CO2 per km. The sales of the Zoe alone in 2020 will knock off 15g of CO2 to help ensure Renault complies.

While further away, the Volkswagen Group (5g), Hyundai-Kia (7g-3g), Daimler (9g) and Jaguar-Land Rover (13g) should cross the line either through their compliance strategies of selling more plug-in vehicles, by pooling emissions with other companies, or both. Daimler is expected to close much of the gap by selling more of its plug-in hybrids, including the E-Class, C-Class, A-Class and GLC — sales of which have grown rapidly this year.



But while electric cars’ market share will go from 3% to 10% this year, and to 15% next year, we may expect to see it at only 20% four years later if the current CO2 regulation is not revised, the analysis shows. Norway shows how fast the EV market can grow: from 6% of sales in 2013 to almost 50% five years later, in 2018.

Worryingly, sales of lucrative but highly-polluting SUVs crept up to 39% in the first half of 2020. This is encouraged by a loophole in the EU regulation whereby selling heavy vehicles actually gives carmakers laxer CO2 targets. Also, half of all the electric cars sold today are “fake electric” plug-in hybrids that are rarely charged and emit 2-4 times more CO2 in the real world than the lab tests show.¹ T&E said the EU needed to set 2035, at the latest, as the end date for sales of combustion engines — including current PHEV technology.

Julia Poliscanova concluded: “The electric car is finally entering the mainstream in Europe but SUV sales are still growing like weeds. The only way to kill off highly-polluting vehicles is to give carmakers a clear end date now. Cars that run on biofuels, fake electric engines or fossil gas emit CO2 and shouldn’t be allowed on the market after 2035.”
 

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#31
https://reneweconomy.com.au/bhp-res...-nickel-as-miners-wake-up-to-ev-market-11233/
BHP responds to Elon Musk’s call for more nickel, as miners wake up to EV market
Michael Mazengarb 15 October 2020 0 Comments
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BHPs Nickel West facility in Kalgoorlie. Credit: BHP.
Australian resources giant BHP may finally be starting to establish itself as a primary supplier of materials to the battery and electric vehicle markets, confirming that it has started to boost nickel production after Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a call out for miners to ramp up output of the key material used in the company’s batteries.

Speaking at the Diggers and Dealers forum in Kalgoorlie on Tuesday, asset president for BHP’s Nickle West subsidiary, Eduard Haegel, said calls by Tesla’s Elon Musk for more nickel production highlighted the scale of opportunity being created by the clean energy sector for materials, but stopped short of confirming that BHP had finalised a nickel supply deal with Tesla.

“At Tesla’s recent battery day, Elon Musk flagged the enormous demand that will come for nickel as this decade unfolds,” Haegel told the forum. “His call for nickel miners to grow quickly offers real evidence of the place nickel has as a strategic battery metal going forward.”

“Nickel West is well positioned to benefit from this anticipated growth. Last year, we sold around 70 per cent of our nickel to battery manufacturers around the world, making BHP one of the world’s leading battery metal suppliers.”

As reported by the AFR, BHP and Tesla have been in active negotiations over a potential nickel supply deal. It wouldn’t be the first time that Tesla has turned to Australia for the raw materials used to produce the company’s battery and electric vehicle technologies, with Musk confirming via Twitter that the company already sources lithium from Australia.

BHP has previously flagged that there are growing opportunities for the Australian resources sector to undergo a second boom, driven by demand for resources like lithium, nickel, copper and cobalt, all used in electric vehicles, as demand for coal and gas is projected to fall. BHP is currently dealing with Chinese coal customers that have cancelled or deferred purchases of coal.



Analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance has predicted that global demand for the metals are expected to increase by orders of magnitude, with the global market for battery materials set to grow to a US$75 billion (A$105 billion) market by 2030.

Other Australian miners have sought to expand their involvement in the production of raw materials for the clean energy sector, including an expansion by Rio Tinto of its production of copper and lithium, and Australian lithium producer Piedmont Lithium, has already secured a deal to supply Tesla.

During the recent ‘battery day’ event held by Tesla, Musk called on resources companies to increase their nickel production, to meet the anticipated demand being created by strong growth in battery production for both electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

“I’d just like to re-emphasise, any mining companies out there, please mine more nickel,” Musk told the battery day event.


“Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel and don’t wait for nickel to go back to some high point that you experienced some five years ago. Go for efficiency and environmentally-friendly nickel mining at high volume.”

“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Musk added.

Musk told the event that Tesla was aiming to improve its battery technologies setting targets to reduce manufacturing costs by 56 per cent, and deliver an increase in electric vehicle range of 54 per cent.

Musk has previously said that ‘nickel is the biggest challenge for high-volume, long-range batteries’.

Haegel said that BHP Nickel West would make substantial investments towards upgrading its nickel production and processing facilities, to increase its own supplies and that the company was well positioned to capitalise on the growth in nickel, which is a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries.

Haegel said that the company was currently considering options for a replacement for its nickel smelter in Kalgoorlie, which is now more than 50 years old, as the company aims to sell into a growing global battery market.

It marks an acknowledgement from the resources giant of the future opportunities being created in the clean energy sector, allowing the nickel subsidiary to pivot from producing nickel for stainless steel production to supplying the material to companies like Tesla.

“In our central energy view, we expect to see the accumulative demand over the next few years is 250 per cent of that of the past 30 years,” Haegel said. “Nickel is a standout winner from a decarbonising world. It secures this position because no matter what metals (or combination of metals) are tested in lithium-ion battery cathodes, nickel produces the highest energy density of any.

“This is an insight for why nickel has such a positive future. It is the workhorse of the lithium ion battery.”

Australia has the world’s largest reserves of nickel ore, and ranks within the top five countries in terms of nickel production and exports.

The Western Australian government has sought to support the emergence of a clean energy focused resources sector within the state, having identified that it holds deposits of almost all of the materials needed to produce lithium-ion batteries.

An assessment commissioned by the Western Australian government estimated that the global market for lithium-ion batteries would grow to $136 billion by 2030.
 

gnome

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#32
Electric-Car Mania Turns Battery Makers Into Power Brokers
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/electric-car-mania-turns-asian-040000196.html
"
“There are not enough batteries to fulfill the automakers’ near-term promises,” said Sam Jaffe, managing director of Cairn ERA, an energy-storage consulting firm in Boulder, Colorado. “A lot of new battery factories are being built. But there is a battery-supply problem in the near term. All of the incumbent automakers are scrambling at this point.”

....

‘Catastrophic Supply Disruption’

Shortages loom as an even larger problem, albeit one that may only be short-term as battery manufacturers ramp up output. Volkswagen AG unit Audi had to pause production in February of its e-Tron, and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc of the Tata Group that same month reportedly suspended output of the I-Pace due to bottlenecks with battery supplier LG Chem Ltd.

Ford and VW have warned that a U.S. legal dispute between LG Chem and fellow South Korean producer SK Innovation Co. over trade secrets could lead to a “catastrophic supply disruption.” The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to issue a closely watched ruling on that dispute Oct. 26.

The battery alone accounts for one-quarter to almost half the cost of an EV, and the top six suppliers controlled 87% of the global market last year, according to an Oct. 21 research report by UBS Securities. “Even with growing China exports, we expect the overseas battery market to remain tight,” it said.

Suppliers of batteries are wary of over-committing to any one automaker and eager to recoup the billions of dollars they have spent on production lines around the globe. Many are hedging their bets by crafting agreements with more than one partner. This small club includes the two South Korean rivals, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. of China and Japan’s Panasonic Corp.

“Battery suppliers can be very picky with their OEMs,” said Nathalie Capati, a former battery engineer at General Motors Co. and Apple Inc. who now runs the Battery Lab, a consulting firm in San Francisco. “There are only a few cell suppliers who can meet their quality and volume. The automakers are at the mercy of cell suppliers these days.”

Tesla Cell Production

Panasonic has long been joined at the hip with Tesla Inc.: The two companies operate the massive battery plant known as the Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has complained the Japanese company operates at a pace that constrains output of Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. Panasonic is adding a 14th battery-cell production line to the Nevada factory, a move that will increase output by 10%. But it’s not beholden to Tesla: It also has a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp.

“Today’s batteries can’t scale fast enough,” Musk said last month at Tesla’s “Battery Day” event outlining the company’s technology plans. “There’s a clear path to success but a ton of work to do.”

Tesla also sources batteries from CATL and LG Chem. But the Palo Alto, California-based carmaker has an insatiable need for batteries and Musk is eager to wean the company of its dependence on outside suppliers. Tesla plans to make its own cells on a pilot line near its auto plant in Fremont, California, and at a new factory it is building in Austin, Texas."
 

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#34
A couple of cool features like crabwalk, but they aren't going to sell a lot of these.
$112,000 and only 350 miles of range?

Rivian RT1 will be $69k and 400 miles range.
Top of line Tesla at $69k and 500 miles range.
Base model Tesla at $40k and 250 miles range - base model EV hummer (in 2024) will be $80k and 250 mile range - same range half the price.

Rivian and Tesla will eat their lunch. GM is way behind on EV's.

https://www.teslarati.com/gmc-hummer-ev-vs-tesla-cybertruck-vs-rivian-r1t-price-specs-features/
 

everything

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#36
We never left the steam era, we are firmly entrenched in it, it turns the turbines that make our electricity. EV auto's are more/less million mile vehicles even when you add up the charging cycles before the battery loses power. Someone posted that chart, it shows hybrid power plants of natural gas and solar/wind farms being built up. Coal is dirty and Asia is choking on it. One EV automaker, NIO limited has BAAS, where you can swap the battery out in 15 minutes. They took the time to put the feature into their lineup, no other auto makers would yet. As is, many in the cities will want an EV for their town cars, government has been incentivizing EV. I don't think the grid is ready for mass EV adoption.

Miners will catch up, they always do.
 

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#37
Miners will catch up, they always do.
as long as it's there to mine


idk how much 145,000 will get you, as far as lithium goes, the raw material, but i read a 'letter' a while back that said the amount of lithium a Tesla Truck and Trailer needs is approximately $145,000 worth, just to fit inside the batteries, just to make the thing go

idk if the world has enough raw materials...that 'letter' alluded to their 'fact' that it doesn't
 

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#39
Always has, always will, just takes awhile to ramp up when price dictates. :mining:
Lithium miners actually got ahead of themselves in anticipation and were in oversupply, then prices declined.
With some EV makers growing at 50% per year, the ramp in demand has arrived.

If you buy the hype, Musk says stationary storage needs to ramp 1600x current installations, Tesla is basically sold out on megapacks through 2023. All the battery suppliers are ramping.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 8.26.19 PM.png
 

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#40
We never left the steam era, we are firmly entrenched in it, it turns the turbines that make our electricity. EV auto's are more/less million mile vehicles even when you add up the charging cycles before the battery loses power. Someone posted that chart, it shows hybrid power plants of natural gas and solar/wind farms being built up. Coal is dirty and Asia is choking on it. One EV automaker, NIO limited has BAAS, where you can swap the battery out in 15 minutes. They took the time to put the feature into their lineup, no other auto makers would yet. As is, many in the cities will want an EV for their town cars, government has been incentivizing EV. I don't think the grid is ready for mass EV adoption.

Miners will catch up, they always do.
NIO's model takes some uncertainty out of buying an EV and think they will do well, at least within China. They are also paired with MobilEye for decent autopilot/driver assist features. Their growth last quarter was hot. Some people think NIO could be a 10x play. Tough competition in China, and to date, no chinese automaker has become a global player. I bought a couple of shares on the dip. More of a trader than a keeper for me.