Battery Material

EU and Serbia Sign Lithium Agreement

The European Union has signed an agreement with Serbia to promote the development of lithium supply chains. This cooperation is part of the EU’s strategy to develop raw material partnerships and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The agreement gives the EU access to raw materials mined in Serbia. The aim is to strengthen the production of sustainable raw materials, battery manufacturing and electric mobility. Under the agreement, the EU and Serbia will develop a roadmap by the end of the year to promote research and training in lithium technology.  Controversy and Environmental Concerns In Serbia, there has been fierce debate over the rights to lithium mining and its environmental impact. In 2022, protests forced mining company Rio Tinto to stop mining. Now the ban has been overturned as unconstitutional and Rio Tinto has regained its license to develop Europe’s largest lithium mine in the western region of Jadar. Rio Tinto has announced that future projects will meet strict environmental requirements.  Sources:

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LFP Cathode Material: Integrals Power Opens UK Pilot Plant

Integrals Power has opened its new cathode materials pilot plant in Milton Keynes, England. The company will produce its own proprietary lithium iron phosphate and lithium manganese iron phosphate cathode materials. The new plant has an annual capacity of 20 tons and will primarily be used for evaluation by cell suppliers, battery and vehicle manufacturers. According to Integrals Power, its manufacturing process offers a lithium iron phosphate nanomaterial with 30 percent higher energy storage capacity. It is also claimed to offer better performance at extreme temperatures and better capacity retention over time. The company sources all of its raw materials from European and North American suppliers. According to the company, this ensures a purer and more efficient LFP and LMFP cathode material compared to cathode materials produced in China. Flexible Approach to Meet Demand The plant is designed to produce different qualities of LFP nanomaterials for different applications. This allows the product to be optimized for applications ranging from long-range electric vehicles to off-grid energy storage systems. The modularity of the production facility is intended to make it possible to expand the factory for higher volumes in the future. Integrals Power speaks of potential production capacities in the order of tens of thousands of tons.  Source:Info via e-mail

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Eramet Launches Lithium Production Plant in Argentina

French mining company Eramet has inaugurated its Centenario lithium carbonate production plant in southwestern Argentina. The plant is operated by Eramine, a joint venture in which Eramet has a 50.1% stake and its partner Tsingshan has a 49.9% stake. The plant will extract lithium from saline brine and process it into battery grade lithium carbonate. Production is expected to begin in November 2024, with a ramp-up period through mid-2025. At full capacity, the plant is expected to produce 24,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year, which is equivalent to the demand of approximately 600,000 electric vehicles per year. The total investment is estimated by the company to be approximately US$870 million. High Efficiency through Direct Extraction The Centenario plant uses a proprietary direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. Eramet has tested this technology for five years under real-world conditions in a pilot plant at the Centenario site. In this process, a recovery rate of approximately 90% of the lithium contained in the brine was achieved. According to the company, a conventional natural evaporation process would only achieve a recovery rate of 40 to 50 percent. In addition, the DLE technology reduces production times from 12 to 18 months to one week. Potential Future Expansion In November 2023, Eramet’s Board of Directors gave conditional approval to the investment decision for a second plant in Centenario. This expansion is expected to produce an additional 30,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year. This approval is subject to the issuance of construction permits and the implementation of a new investment tax regime that would improve the economics and financing of Phase 2. Source:

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