GM, Glencore Enter Cobalt EV Supply Agreement
DETROIT–General Motors Co. and natural resources giant Glencore announced today a multi-year sourcing 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 electric-vehicle batteries, and the cobalt processed from 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 Cadillac Lyriq.
The agreement builds on a commitment to build sustainable and resilient supply chains through collective industry and multi-stakeholder platforms, GM said.
“GM and our suppliers are building an EV ecosystem that is focused on sourcing critical raw materials in a secure sustainable manner,” said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Importantly, given the critical role of EVs in reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, this agreement is aligned with our approach to responsible sourcing and supply chain management.”
“We are delighted to announce this collaboration and support General Motors in delivering its electric vehicle strategy,” said Ash Lazenby, Glencore U.S. cobalt marketer and trader. “Future facing commodities like cobalt play a pivotal role in de-carbonizing energy consumption and the electric vehicle revolution.”
Cobalt is a metal that makes up just 0.001% of the earth’s crust. It is known for its heat-resistant properties and is added to lithium-ion battery cathodes to improve energy density and battery longevity.
By the end of 2025, GM plans to have capacity to build one million electric vehicles in North America, and has announced a series of actions to create a new and more secure EV supply chain, including projects targeting key EV materials and components:
- Cathode Active Material (CAM) with POSCO Chemical. GM and POSCO Chemical are building a new facility in Quebec, Canada, as part of their joint venture to produce CAM for GM’s Ultium batteries.
- Lithium with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to secure 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 the first North American processing site for alloy flakes. 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 support GM’s magnet requirements starting in 2024, including locally sourced raw materials and finished magnet production.
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 responsibly – sourced commodities that advance everyday life. Its companies employ approximately 135,000 people worldwide.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.