March 15, 2018: Chinese battery material manufacturer Gem has signed a three-year cobalt offtake agreement with Switzerland-based mining and trading company Glencore, tying up increasingly tight supplies of cobalt for use as feedstock in its production of ternary battery materials.
Spot cobalt metal prices in China have risen by nearly 50pc in the past year to 600-635 yuan/kg, according to Argus' latest assessment on 13 March. The rise in cobalt prices has forced many Chinese battery manufacturers to consider using substitute materials or to reduce the cobalt ratio in NCM ternary cathode material.
NCM lithium-ion material typically comprises 50pc nickel, 20pc cobalt and 30pc manganese (5-2-3 NiCoMn) in China. But many producers aim to change the proportion to 6-2-2 or 8-1-1 NiCoMn by the second half of 2018.Later, 12:45 p.m. CT: why I love to blog. About three days ago I sent Don an e-mail regarding cobalt. He replied with a link to USGS Minerals -- see the original post for the link. Now, this morning, this from Argus Media: low-cobalt batteries "vital to EV development." Data points:
- a trade group: the development of low-cobalt rechargeable batteries is crucial for the widespread adoption of EVs
- European EV manufacturers already require 25% of global cobalt capacity for the production of rechargeable batteries
- requirement is expected to rise significantly
- greater availability of boron and borates could lead to wider adoption of lithium borate batteries
- cobalt is a crucial cathode component in rechargeable lithium ion batteries
- the Democratic Republic of Congo is home to about half of the world's cobalt reserves
- by the way, I believe there is a trope / meme repeated in the article: "Sweden's Volvo will halt the development of gasoline engines from 2019"; this trope / meme has been stated many ways; some have said that Volvo will no longer manufacture vehicles using ICE. In fact, it is my understanding that after 2019, Volvo will produce hybirds and EVs. It's hard for me to believe that Volvo, in just two years would have absolutely no ICEs in their vehicles. My hunch: 90% hybrids initially (the other 10%, EVs) and then a plan to gradually reduce that figure
Chart of the day:
Headlines from Rigzone today:
- Texas governments gain from US "global power broker" status
- US to overtake Russia as top oil producer by 2019 at latest -- IEA
- Big Corn says "no deal" after White House biofuels meeting; Iowa (6) wins; Pennsylvania (20) loses
- Saudi Arabia won't substantially raise output over the next 2-3 years even if OPEC production cut agreement not extended
- SandRidge lays off 30% of Oklahoma City staff
- Oil dips as industry report shows swelling spare US -- posted yesterday: the American Petroleum Institute was said to have reported U.S. crude stockpiles expanded by 933,000 barrels last week. If confirmed in a government tally scheduled to be released on Wednesday, inventories will have racked up increases in four of the past five weeks: consistent with my re-balancing data
- Total interesting in building 150,000 bpd refinery in Iraq
Bakken chart of the day:
Back to the Bakken
RBN Energy: How much Canadian gas can the US west coast take? Wow, that's a great question, after all the articles about the difficulty getting "the pipeline" through British Columbia to the west coast.