Electric Vehicles JM Enters into Partnership for Sustainable Battery Materials Production
Johnson Matthey (JM) has signed a term sheet for the supply of nickel and cobalt from Nornickel, and an agreement for the supply of lithium hydroxide from SQM. The contracts will help the company to ensure long term sustainable supply of critical raw materials for battery materials production, creating an efficient battery electric vehicle supply chain.
London/UK – Johnson Matthey (JM) has recently announced significant strategic developments in the commercialization of elno – its portfolio of leading nickel rich advanced cathode materials – which put JM at the forefront of providing a sustainable and secure supply of cathode materials for customers, in line with its vision for a cleaner, healthier world.
1. Partnership with Finnish Minerals Group to support development of its previously announced second commercial plant, which will be in Finland, powered solely by renewable energy and incorporating an innovative effluent treatment solution.
2. Long term sustainable supply of critical raw materials for battery materials production secured, creating an efficient battery electric vehicle supply chain – JM has signed a term sheet for the supply of nickel and cobalt from Nornickel, and an agreement for the supply of lithium hydroxide from SQM.
These important developments further strengthen the company’s position in the value chain, setting a new standard of sustainability in the production of high-performance cathode materials that enable greater adoption of long range, pure battery electric vehicles. Working together with these partners, the company can deliver for its customers as they expand into the fast-growing battery electric vehicle market and ultimately give consumers confidence in both the performance and sustainability of their car.
Finland selected as location for second plant and partnership with Finnish Minerals Group
In scaling up the battery materials business, JM has begun the front-end engineering design for its second commercial plant in Vaasa, on the west coast of Finland. Finland has a favorable battery materials ecosystem, offering reliable access to renewable energy, sustainable raw materials and proximity to major European automotive OEM and cell manufacturers.
As the firm invests to support its commercialization, JM has entered into a partnership with Finnish Minerals Group as it looks to further develop the Finnish batteries ecosystem. Finnish Mineral Group manages the Finnish state’s mining industry shareholdings and aims to create an integrated electric vehicle battery value chain in Finland.
As part of its partnership, Finnish Minerals Group will invest in two key areas. Firstly to co-develop with JM an integrated solution to treat sodium sulphate, a common manufacturing by-product, providing a sustainable supply chain to conserve natural resources and protect the local environment.
Secondly, Finnish Minerals Group will invest in pre-treatment technology of nickel and cobalt sulphates to tailor the materials to the requirements of high nickel cathode materials. The site will solely use locally generated renewable energy and the firm is working with the City of Vaasa to develop a sustainable heat recovery solution which feeds the local heating system network. These developments are a major step towards sustainable cathode material production.
The Finland plant will have a nameplate capacity of 30 kT and, subject to board approval following completion of the design, the company expects to start construction later this year supporting its progress towards securing customer contracts over the coming years.
Developing an efficient, sustainable supply of nickel and cobalt with Nornickel
JM has signed a term sheet with Nornickel – a world leading supplier of refined nickel products – for the supply of nickel and cobalt from Nornickel’s metal refineries in Harjavalta, Finland and in the Kola region, Russia. This secures the supply of sustainable, responsibly sourced raw materials for its cathode material production in both Poland and Finland.
In addition to the supply of metals, JM and Nornickel also intend to collaborate on other important topics of the battery materials value chain, including on the digitalization of the supply chain, circular economy opportunities, the application of a newly developed metal dissolution technology and further enhancement of the sustainability of the value chain.
Securing lithium supply with SQM
The company also announced that it has signed an agreement with its fellow Global Battery Alliance member, SQM – a world leading supplier of sustainable lithium products – to supply lithium hydroxide from its Salar del Carmen plant in Antofagasta, Chile.
The developments with Nornickel and SQM, in conjunction with the investment by Finnish Minerals Group, form an important part of the sustainable supply chain for JM’s cathode materials plants in both Finland and Poland.