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Umicore, VW in battery materials JV

Subject to final agreements and customary conditions, including regulatory approvals, Umicore and Volkswagen will establish a joint venture in precursor and cathode material production in Europe. This will begin in 2025 with initial production of 20 GWh/year for the plant in Salzgitter, Germany, and should grow to 160 GWh/year by 2030, enough to power about 2.2 million full electric vehicles.

Two lithium deals for Umicore

Umicore has signed separate five-year, renewable lithium supply agreements with two companies, Ganfeng Lithium of Jiangxi, China, and Vulcan Energy Resources of Karlsruhe, Germany. Both are integral to its cathode business and to its own environmental commitment.

The agreement with Ganfeng Lithium will come into effect in 2022 and will cover a significant part of Umicore’s future lithium requirements in Asia. The lithium is mined from hard-rock deposits in Australia under strict sustainability standards.

BASF, Umicore in CAM patent deal

BASF and Umicore have entered into a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of cathode active materials (CAMs) and their precursors. CAMs are used in lithium-ion batteries and both firms have been investing in them heavily, creating what they called “sizeable and largely complementary patent portfolios”.

Umicore to consolidate in cobalt/nickel chemicals

Umicore has announced plans to streamline its cobalt activities in the Cobalt & Specialty Materials business unit in order to strengthen its competitive position. This will lead to about €55 million in charges.

The unit, which makes cobalt and nickel speciality chemicals for a wide-range of non-battery applications, has been facing increasing competition in many markets and in cobalt refining in recent years.

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