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  • Satellite photo showing the lights around US population centers at night.

    Reviving North Carolina's lithium trade

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 13, 2023

    The world's leading lithium producer, Albemarle, is working to revive the Kings Mountain mine in North Carolina, which has been dormant since the 1980s and historically contains one of the nation's largest lithium deposits. Kings Mountain boasts one of the few known hard rock lithium deposits in the United States, and a miner there is expected to produce enough of the namesake metal in lithium-ion batteries to support the manufacturing of approximately 1.2 million electric...

  • Mary Freeman holding a green tourmaline crystal in an underground cavern.

    Maine couple discovers lithium motherlode

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    Five years ago, Maine native Mary Freeman and her husband Gary went gem-hunting for tourmaline on their property in the woods of Plumbago Mountain. Instead of the popular semiprecious stone they were seeking, they discovered what appears to be the richest known hard rock lithium deposit in the world – a formation of gigantic lithium-bearing spodumene crystals with an estimated value of $1.5 billion. The timing of their discovery, officially called Plumbago North, is fortuito... Full story

  • Hand holding pieces of gray and crumbling core from drilling at Thacker Pass.

    Magmatic uprising and a lithium takeover

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    Results in largest known reserves of lithium on Earth being deposited in volcanic caldera spanning Nevada-Oregon border. The remnants of an ancient volcano spanning the Nevada-Oregon border likely holds the world's largest accumulation of the lithium for the batteries needed for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage, according to a scientific paper published by a trio of volcanologists and geologists. This roughly 25- by 30-mile basin known as the McDermitt Caldera... Full story

  • A mountain of lithium-boron mineralization at Rhyolite Ridge.

    Ioneer lithium clay development agreement

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 15, 2023

    Seeking every advantage when it comes to the efficient and sustainable production of lithium and boron at its Rhyolite Ridge project in Nevada, Ioneer Ltd. has signed a research and development memorandum of understanding with Korea-based EcoPro Innovation Co. Ltd. to study the lithium clay resources at this prospective lithium-boron property. Situated about 200 road miles southeast of the Tesla Gigafactory Nevada, Rhyolite Ridge is a development-staged lithium-boron project t...

  • Industrial Quonset tents at Graphite Creek glow at dusk.

    Alaska Native Corp backs Graphite One

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Oct 3, 2023

    BSNC investment provides funding for all-American graphite supply chain and signals local AK Native support for mine. As a signal of strong local backing for Graphite One Inc.'s vision to establish an all-American supply chain for the graphite needed for lithium batteries powering the energy transition, Bering Straits Native Corp. is making an up to US$10.4 million strategic investment into the company. "This is not just an investment in Graphite One, it is a long-term...

  • A series of square brine-filled holes in the Salinas Grandes salt flats.

    Is a lithium triangle alliance coming?

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 17, 2023

    Latin American countries collectively hold over 50% of the world's identified raw lithium. These resource-rich nations have begun asserting that they will no longer accept extractive international trade relationships-hoping to leverage this natural wealth of a suddenly in-demand mineral to bolster the region's development and encourage the growth of specialized industries and clean energy infrastructure. "We don't want to sell lithium to Europe ... we want to sell lithium vehi...

  • Piles of white lithium reflect off the water at mining operation in Argentina.

    Automakers develop own supply lines

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 20, 2023

    Back in 1908, when Ford Motor Company first started cranking out the Model T, the innovative automaker championed new materials, new engineering designs, and new manufacturing practices. More than a century later, automotive companies are emulating Henry Ford's strategy as they tackle the supply chain challenges of a similarly groundbreaking electric vehicle revolution. Styled these days as 'vertical integration production,' Henry Ford's idea of "a continuous, nonstop process...

  • Ford Lightning electric truck under bright lights for final inspection.

    Ford strengthens battery partnerships

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 13, 2023

    Ford Motor Company has stepped up critical metals acquisition, forging still more relationships with the likes of battery metal miners and developers and bringing the automotive manufacturer closer to its target of producing an annual run rate of two million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026. In May, Ford and leading U.S. lithium miner Albemarle formed a partnership for the supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide to scale up the automaker's EV production....

  • Electra Battery Metals Glencore Ontario Canada cobalt hydroxide feed material

    Electra, Glencore cut new cobalt deals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    Above and beyond its agreement to sell cobalt hydroxide feed material to Electra Battery Materials Corp., Glencore has signed a five-year tolling contract for the use of Electra's refinery in Ontario to upgrade additional cobalt hydroxide into battery-grade cobalt. Glencore has been a strong supporter of Electra for a number of years, funding the initial engineering studies and providing technical input as the Canada-based company advanced development of its First Cobalt... Full story

  • Rendering of a future EnergyX facility to facilitate renewable energy tech.

    General Motors backs EnergyX lithium tech

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 19, 2023

    Already pushing the boundaries of portable energy storage technology through its development of solid-state batteries, Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. or EnergyX, announced a US$50 million funding from General Motors Co. to help the company develop its lithium extraction and refinery technology. EnergyX's direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology can extract lithium metal directly from brine and potentially in anode-ready form for electric vehicle batteries, enabling a...

  • Avalon Advanced Materials Lithium plant Canada Ontario Thunder Bay Essar

    Avalon lithium plant slated for Ontario

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

    Adding to the rapidly expanding network of companies building a robust lithium battery materials supply in Ontario, Canada-based Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. and India-based Essar Group Company have forged a partnership to develop a mine and processing plant that will produce lithium that will be needed by electric vehicle and battery manufacturers in Ontario and beyond. Under the agreement, the two companies would co-own Avalon Lithium Inc., a private Avalon subsidiary that... Full story

  • White hill of lithium-boron in the southwest Nevada desert.

    DOE commits $700M for Rhyolite Ridge

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 21, 2023

    Conditional loan signals a major step forward for ioneer's planned lithium-boron mine in Nevada. As part of the Biden administration's ongoing effort to support projects that will provide a domestic supply of the minerals and metals critical to America's transition to clean energy and transportation, the U.S. Department of Energy has committed to loaning ioneer Ltd. up to $700 million to develop the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada. "Rhyolite Ridge is a major...

  • ioneer Nevada lithium Rhyolite Ridge boron DOE loan approval batteries EV

    Rhyolite Ridge nears DOE loan approval

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 14, 2023

    With a "substantially complete" application for a loan to fund the development of its Rhyolite lithium-boron project in Nevada already being processed by the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, ioneer Ltd. is positioned to be one of the early beneficiaries of the more than $20 billion in federal loans and loan guarantees available to mining and manufacturing companies along the electric vehicle battery materials supply chain. Early in 2021, ioneer entered into... Full story

  • Glencore Electra Battery Materials Canada refinery plant cobalt black mass park

    Glencore to buy Electra recycled metals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    With mining giant Glencore AG agreeing to buy the nickel and cobalt recycled from spent lithium-ion batteries over the next two years, Electra Battery Materials Corp.'s vision of developing an eco-industrial park in Ontario that serves as a one-stop-shop for the materials needed for the batteries powering 1.5 million electric vehicles per year is one step closer to reality. The Electra Battery Materials Park is being developed around the company's cobalt refinery about 250...

  • General Motors GM EV electric vehicles Ultium batteries battery Glencore cobalt

    GM secures Aussie cobalt for batteries

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    In another deal to secure the raw materials it needs to produce enough Ultium batteries to power up to 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025, General Motors struck a multi-year agreement to purchase cobalt from Glencore's Murrin Murrin operation in Western Australia. A rare and critical metal, cobalt plays an important role in improving the energy density and longevity of the lithium-ion batteries powering EVs. "Future facing commodities like cobalt play a pivotal role...

  • lithium sulfur battery ev news United States Drexler University Australia

    Parallel lithium-sulfur battery advances

    Rose Ragsdale, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Two research teams, one in the United States and the other in Australia – working on separate projects to improve lithium batteries – have reported significant breakthroughs recently that could make lithium-sulfur batteries a viable option. As interest grows in harnessing green, emissions-free electricity to power everything from personal devices like smartphones and laptops to electric vehicles for consumers and industry, lithium batteries are becoming an important...

  • General Motors GM Canada EV electrical vehicle supply chain Ultium plant cathode

    GM looks to Quebec for cathode plant

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Adding to a growing list of deals to source the materials and components needed for its vision to get everybody in on its transition to an all-electric future, General Motors is working with POSCO Chemical to develop a roughly $400 million plant in Quebec to produce cathode active material for Ultium batteries that will power GM electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC HUMMER EV, and Cadillac LYRIQ. Planning to have the capacity to build 1 million electric...

  • Nico cobalt refinery Fortune Minerals Northwest Territories battery metals

    Fortunate locale for Nico cobalt refinery

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Alberta has been chosen as the best locale to develop a critical minerals refinery that would process concentrates from Fortune Minerals Ltd.'s planned Nico cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper mine in Canada's Northwest Territories. A mine at Nico and an associated hydrometallurgical refinery in a Canadian province would produce an average of 1,800 metric tons of battery-grade cobalt sulfate; 1,700 metric tons of bismuth; 300 metric tons of copper; and 47,000 ounces of gold annually ov...

  • Albermarle Australia lithium plasma 6K battery UniMelt carbon dioxide emissions

    Greener lithium batteries with plasma tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Seeking greener and more efficient technology for the production of advanced lithium materials for rechargeable batteries, Australia-based Albemarle Corp. has entered into a joint development agreement with 6K, a United States-based company that has developed a cutting-edge microwave-controlled plasma technology for producing advanced materials. Dubbed UniMelt, this patented technology leverages the physics of plasma chemistry to produce high-purity and customized materials...

  • Tesla Talon Metals Minnesota nickel cobalt deal electric vehicles EV Elon Musk

    Tesla cuts deal for Minnesota nickel

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    As the competition for supplies of the minerals and metals needed to build electric vehicles heats up, Tesla Inc. has cut a deal to secure the nickel for the lithium-ion batteries to power its future EVs from Talon Metals Corp.'s Tamarack project in Minnesota. Located 54 miles west of Duluth, the Tamarack project is slated to produce roughly 28 million pounds of nickel, plus 17 million lb of copper, per year over the first nine years of mining. Talon's commitment to reducing t...

  • Tesla gigmine Elon Musk lithium prices Cyber Rodeo Texas EV electric vehicles

    Musk floats battery gigamine idea, again

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 26, 2022

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk has thus far focused the automaker's efforts on manufacturing electric vehicles and the lithium-ion batteries that power them. This could change as a shortage of the minerals and metals critical to lithium batteries threatens to slow production and drive up the costs of EVs. "Price of lithium has gone to insane levels!" Musk tweeted on April 8. "Tesla might actually have to get into the mining & refining directly at scale, unless costs improve." In a li... Full story

  • Alaska critical minerals US EV battery news electric vehicles graphite anode

    Graphite One project goes super critical

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 5, 2022

    Graphite One Inc.'s plans to establish a complete domestic supply chain for the advanced graphite materials for electric vehicle batteries was bolstered by President Joe Biden's decision to use the Defense Production Act to boost American supplies of critical battery materials. On March 31, the President signed a memorandum that orders the Pentagon to utilize Defense Production Act Title III funding to establish and expand upon sustainable and responsible production of the... Full story

  • Tesla Syrah Resources graphite anode material Vidalia processing facility mine

    Tesla secures Vidalia battery graphite

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 11, 2022

    Tesla Inc. has cut a deal with Syrah Resources Ltd. to supply the single largest ingredient in most lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles – graphite. More specifically, the renowned electric automaker has entered into an offtake agreement for natural graphite active anode material, also known as coated spherical graphite, from Syrah's Vidalia processing facility in Louisiana. The anodes in lithium-ion batteries that power most EVs are packed full of graphite that... Full story

  • Pennsylvania mining waste lithium Penn State Critical Minerals Alliances

    Historic mining for future battery metals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 28, 2021

    Pennsylvanian coal helped to fuel America's Industrial Revolution, and mines in the Keystone State have since provided a domestic source of iron ore, cobalt, nickel, and various other metals. Now, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have identified a potential motherlode of battery metals to feed into America's EV Revolution in waste left behind by more than two centuries of mining in the commonwealth. "Preliminary estimates indicate that waste left by coal mining... Full story

  • lithium cobalt nickel graphite manganese battery metals minerals

    Electra to recycle battery metals in 2022

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 21, 2021

    In another step toward realizing its vision of establishing a lithium battery materials park at its First Cobalt refinery in Ontario, Electra Battery Materials Corp. is putting in motion a plan to begin recycling lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and graphite from the black mass produced from recycled lithium-ion batteries. "With our existing facility in Canada, Electra can be the first recycler to establish a closed-loop supply of battery materials, making electric vehicles... Full story

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