GM and Glencore sign cobalt supply agreement for electric vehicle batteries

Glencore and General Motors are members of the Responsible Minerals Initiative

General Motors/Glencore

Glencore and General Motors today announced a multi-year supply agreement in which Glencore will supply GM with cobalt from its Murrin Murrin operation in Australia.

Cobalt is an important metal in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, and the cobalt processed in Australia will be used in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes, which will power electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC HUMMER EV and the Cadillac LYRIQ.

Both Glencore and General Motors are members of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), and Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operation complies with the OECD-aligned Responsible Minerals Assurance process.

“GM and our suppliers are building an ecosystem of electric vehicles focused on sourcing critical raw materials in a safe and sustainable way,” said Jeff Morrison, GM Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “It is important to note that, given the critical role of electric vehicles in reducing the carbon footprint of the transport sector, this agreement is in line with our approach to responsible sourcing and supply chain management. supply.

“Future-looking raw materials like cobalt play a central role in decarbonizing energy consumption and revolutionizing electric vehicles. Glencore is already a leading producer, recycler and supplier of these raw materials, which supports our own ambition to achieve total net zero emissions by 2050,” said Ash Lazenby, distributor and trader of Glencore US Cobalt.

Cobalt is a metal that makes up only 0.001% of the earth’s crust. It is known for its heat resistant properties and is added to the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries to improve battery energy density and longevity. By the end of 2025, GM plans to have the capacity to build 1 million electric vehicles in North America and has announced a series of actions to create a new, safer supply chain for electric vehicles, including including projects targeting the main materials and components of electric vehicles:

  • Cathodic Active Material (CAM) with POSCO Chemical. GM and POSCO Chemical are building a new plant in Quebec, Canada, as part of their joint venture to produce CAMs for GM’s Ultium batteries.
  • Lithium with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to secure the lithium produced by the first stage of its Hell’s Kitchen project in California.
  • Rare earth materials with GE, to develop a rare earth value chain.
  • alloy flakes with MP Materials, which will establish North America’s first alloy flake processing site. The company will then expand into magnet manufacturing around 2025 at its new production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Permanent magnets with VAC, the largest producer of permanent magnets in the western hemisphere with nearly 100 years of experience. VAC will establish a North American footprint to meet GM’s magnet needs from 2024, including locally sourced raw materials and production of finished magnets.

Marjorie N. McClure