Glencore and General Motors enter multi-year cobalt supply agreement
Baar, Switzerland/Detroit, USA
12 April 2022
- Agreement represents initial strategic collaboration between the two companies
- Cobalt provides EV batteries with energy density and longevity
- GM’s EV supply chain strategy prioritises environmental sustainability
Glencore and General Motors Co. 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 EV 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 both companies share to create strong, sustainable, and resilient supply chains through collective industry and multi-stakeholder platforms. Both Glencore and General Motors are members of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), and Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operation is conformant with the OECD-aligned Responsible Minerals Assurance Process.
“We are delighted to announce this collaboration and support General Motors in delivering its electric vehicle strategy,” said Ash Lazenby, Glencore US Cobalt Marketer and Trader. “Future facing commodities like cobalt play a pivotal role in decarbonising energy consumption and the electric vehicle revolution. Glencore is already a leading producer, recycler and supplier of these commodities, which underpin our own ambition of achieving net zero total emissions by 2050.”
“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.”
Cobalt is a metal that makes up only 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 1 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 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, who 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.
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Notes for Editors
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. Through a network of assets, customers and suppliers that spans the globe, we produce, process, recycle, source, market and distribute the commodities that enable decarbonisation while meeting the energy needs of today.
Glencore companies employ around 135,000 people, including contractors. With a strong footprint in over 35 countries in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, our marketing and industrial activities are supported by a global network of more than 40 offices.
Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, battery manufacturing and oil sectors. We also provide financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities.
Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Glencore recognises our responsibility to contribute to the global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Our ambition is to be a net zero total emissions company by 2050. In August 2021, we increased our medium-term emission reduction target to a 50% reduction by 2035 and introduced a new short-term target of a 15% reduction by 2026.
GM is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at http:www.gm.com
The companies in which Glencore plc directly and indirectly has an interest are separate and distinct legal entities. In this document, “Glencore”, “Glencore group” and “Group” are used for convenience only where references are made to Glencore plc and its subsidiaries in general. These collective expressions are used for ease of reference only and do not imply any other relationship between the companies. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer collectively to members of the Group or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies.