Glencore has struck a deal with a leading US carmaker to supply a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries from a Goldfields mine. The multi-year sourcing agreement will see Australian cobalt used in the batteries that power General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq vehicles, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.
Cobalt from Glencore’s Murrin Murrin mining operation east of Leonora will be used for GM’s Ultium battery cathodes. Australia has some of the world’s largest recoverable resources of minerals such as cobalt, which are crucial elements for the batteries needed to electrify cars, homes and businesses.
The companies said the agreement builds on a commitment they have to sustainable supply chains. GM vice-president Jeff Morrison said EVs have a critical role in reducing the carbon footprint of the transport sector.
Global Glencore, one of Australia’s largest coal producers, is also a leading producer, recycler and supplier of critical minerals. GM is securing key materials and components of electric vehicles as it plans to have the capacity to build one million electric vehicles in North America by the end of 2025.
Cobalt has heat-resistant properties and is added to lithium-ion battery cathodes to extend their life – and the range of the driver. The number of EVs in the world is projected to increase by 30 per cent every year to 2050 as the global economy goes electric to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.