The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the February 1, 2023 edition


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  • A row of Chevrolet, Hummer, Cadillac, and BrightDrop electric vehicles.

    GM investing $650M in Lithium Americas

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    The largest-ever investment by an automaker into a battery materials mining company. To strengthen its domestic supply of the materials going into the batteries for its expanding lineup of electric vehicles, General Motors is investing $650 million toward the development of Lithium Americas Corp.'s Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada. Considered to be the largest known lithium deposit in the United States, Thacker Pass hosts 16.1 million metric tons of lithium...

  • Slides of gallium Lego-like figurine melting through a tiny jail and reforming.

    Scientists make mini shapeshifting robot

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    As technology begins to enter the realm of 1990s-era science fiction, researchers from Soft Machines Lab at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a miniature shapeshifting robot that can liquefy itself and reform – basically a prototype of Skynet's cool but terrifying T-1000 robot in "Terminator 2". With assistance from Sun Yat-sen University and Zhejiang University, this liquid metal robot is based on gallium that has been embedded with magnetic nanoparticles. Since g...

  • Rending of the completed Tesla Gigafactory Nevada in the desert near Sparks.

    Giga-expansion of Gigafactory Nevada

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    Tesla's 140 GWh plant will produce batteries for 1.5M EVs per year; need globally significant mineral supplies. Tesla Inc. set the standard for giga-scale lithium-ion battery manufacturing with the startup of its 35 gigawatt-hour-per-year Gigafactory in Nevada in 2016. Now, the pioneering company is setting a new benchmark for electric vehicle battery production with a massive 100 GWh expansion of its world-changing factory. The news that Tesla has committed to investing heavi...

  • The Sandvik Toro LH307 is designed to operate in underground environments.

    Japan automates top-producing gold mine

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions' AutoMine loading technology is the latest advancement in Sumitomo Metal Mining's long-term vision of leading the world in the non-ferrous metals industry. The Japanese company's philosophical focus on social consciousness and sustainability in business has gained a practical supporter in Sandvik, bringing Sumitomo closer to the ideal of full digitization and automation of the mine. With machine learning, remote operation software, and...

  • Section of silvery grey core from drilling at Graphite Creek deposit in Alaska.

    Graphite One leverages national lab tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    PNNL to verify G1 Graphite material for EV batteries; Sandia to explore innovative green tech to extract critical minerals. Toward its goal of establishing an all-American supply chain for the graphite that goes into the lithium-ion batteries powering the transition to electric vehicles charged with low-carbon energy, Graphite One Inc. is working with two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories for the testing of active anode material made from graphite sourced from... Full story

  • A metal-clad doughnut-shaped chamber for nuclear fusion.

    Slow going for nuclear fusion research

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 16, 2023

    Tungsten alloys could endure extreme temps for carbon-free energy technology. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project recently reported hitting significant snags in its quest to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy. Fusion entails forcing together the nuclei of light atomic elements in a super-heated plasma, held by powerful magnetic forces in a doughnut-shaped chamber called a "tokamak." By fusing the...

  • Three Geomega technicians observe REE separation equipment.

    More funding for Geomega recycling tech

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 7, 2023

    Developer of clean technologies for the mining, refining, and recycling of rare earths and other critical materials, Geomega Resources Inc. announced it has been awarded a C$3 million grant from the Technoclimat Program toward the construction of a magnet recycling demonstration plant. "We are very grateful to the Quebec Government for their support of our project," said Geomega Resources President and CEO Kiril Mugerman. "Furthermore, the Quebec Government understands that to...