Element 25 will supply an up to 32,500 metric tonnes of manganese sulphate annually to support the production of over one million GM electric vehicles (EVs) in North America


The supply will support the production of over 1 million General Motors electric vehicles (EVs) in North America annually. (Credit: (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay)

General Motors (GM) and Element 25 (E25) have made an announcement regarding their agreement. According to the agreement, Element 25 will be supplying an annual quantity of up to 32,500 metric tonnes of manganese sulphate. This supply will play a crucial role in supporting the production of over one million General Motors electric vehicles (EVs) in North America on a yearly basis.

As part of the agreement, GM will extend a loan of $85m to Element 25. This loan will serve as partial funding for the construction of a new facility in Louisiana, which will be dedicated to the production of battery-grade manganese sulphate. Manganese sulphate is a crucial component in lithium-ion battery cathodes. The facility is set to commence its operations in 2025.

Element 25 will utilise manganese concentrate from its mining operations in Australia to process and produce manganese sulphate at the facility.

GM Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain executive vice-president Doug Parks said: “GM is scaling EV production in North America well past 1 million units annually and our direct investments in battery raw materials, processing and components for EVs are providing certainty of supply, favourable commercial terms and thousands of new jobs, especially in the U.S., Canada and free trade agreement countries like Australia.

“The facility E25 will build in Louisiana is significant because it’s expected be the first plant in the United States to produce battery-grade manganese sulphate, a key component of cathode active material which helps improve EV battery cell cost.”

Element 25 Managing Director Justin Brown said: “E25 is working to be a leading source of high quality, vertically integrated, traceable and ESG-compliant battery material to the global electric vehicle industry and GM’s support does more than accelerate our expansion in the United States. Together, we are creating a resilient and sustainable North American supply chain that will help introduce millions of customers to the performance and environmental benefits of EVs.”

Element 25 has outlined its investment plans for the construction of a 230,000-square-foot facility, amounting to an estimated investment of around $290m. The company intends to commence site preparation in the third quarter of 2023, with the plant slated for opening in 2025. Once the facility is fully operational, it is anticipated to generate approximately 200 permanent job opportunities.

GM is actively working on bolstering its domestic supply base to support its electric vehicle (EV) production. Apart from the agreement with Element 25 for manganese sulphate, GM has announced direct investments in other essential commodities such as lithium, nickel, and various battery-related components like cathode active material (CAM) and CAM precursor. As part of these efforts, GM, along with its joint venture partners, is in the process of installing 160GWh of battery cell manufacturing capacity in the US.

To further enhance the domestic supply chain, GM’s suppliers are also relocating the production of permanent magnets and other EV components to North America. These initiatives have already begun to yield positive outcomes, generating employment opportunities in various states and provinces.