Glencore and EVelution Energy Join Forces to Develop Solar-Powered Cobalt Processing Facility in the US

Glencore, has teamed up with EVelution Energy, in a landmark agreement to support the development of the first solar-powered cobalt processing facility in the US.

Cobalt Processing

Glencore, a global natural resource powerhouse renowned for its cobalt production, has teamed up with EVelution Energy, a US-based EV battery materials processing company, in a landmark agreement to support the development of the first solar-powered cobalt processing facility in the United States. This collaboration signifies a significant stride towards bolstering the domestic supply chain for EV batteries, crucial for the nation’s ambitious electrification goals and transition to a net-zero economy.

Addressing Critical Cobalt Supply Chain Gap

With cobalt sulfate playing a pivotal role in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the absence of commercial-scale cobalt processing facilities in the US has posed a significant challenge. Currently, over 70% of the world’s cobalt sulfate is produced in China, highlighting the pressing need for domestic production capabilities. EVelution Energy’s initiative to establish the first solar-powered cobalt processing facility in Yuma County, Arizona, aims to bridge this crucial gap and bolster the nation’s self-reliance in EV battery materials.

Long-Term Supply Agreement and Offtake Discussions

Under the recently signed Letter of Intent (LOI), Glencore and EVelution are on track to finalize a long-term supply agreement for cobalt hydroxide feedstock, with Glencore poised to become a major supplier. The agreement encompasses supplying up to 7000 tonnes of contained cobalt per year, with provisions for potential expansion in line with EVelution’s facility growth. Furthermore, discussions are underway regarding the offtake of cobalt sulfate production from the facility, alongside hedging and working capital solutions, underscoring the comprehensive nature of the collaboration.

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Milestone Achievement and Industry Impact

For EVelution Energy, the partnership with Glencore marks a significant milestone in its quest to establish a robust domestic supply chain for EV battery materials. President Navaid Alam expressed enthusiasm about Glencore’s interest in becoming a major feedstock supplier, emphasizing the importance of the agreement in shaping the future of the company. Additionally, Ash Lazenby, US Cobalt Marketing at Glencore, highlighted the collaboration’s potential to leverage Glencore’s leading cobalt hydroxide production facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support EVelution’s endeavors.

Economic and Environmental Benefits

Beyond addressing critical supply chain gaps, the establishment of EVelution Energy’s solar-powered cobalt processing facility holds immense promise for the US economy and environment. The project is expected to generate manufacturing jobs, reduce reliance on foreign sources for EV battery materials, and contribute to the fight against climate change. Moreover, the facility’s commitment to generating its own clean power and recycling water underscores its dedication to sustainability and minimizing environmental impact.

Timeline and Future Prospects

Construction of the cobalt processing facility is slated to commence in 2024, with commissioning anticipated by the end of 2026. The project’s timeline aligns with the growing urgency to fortify the nation’s EV battery supply chain and accelerate the transition to cleaner transportation solutions. With Glencore’s support and EVelution Energy’s innovative approach, the facility is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing the US automotive, aerospace, and defense industries while fostering economic growth and environmental stewardship.

The collaboration between Glencore and EVelution Energy represents a significant milestone in the development of the US cobalt processing sector and the broader EV battery materials supply chain. As the nation embarks on its journey towards electrification and sustainability, initiatives like the solar-powered cobalt processing facility underscore the importance of partnerships, innovation, and strategic investments in shaping a cleaner, more resilient future.

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