General Motors is still seeking out suppliers for various raw materials that will be needed once its new battery materials plant in Bécancour, Quebec is operational in 2024.
GM in March announced it would partner with Korean chemicals company Poscoe to construct a new $500 million battery materials plant in the Canadian province, which is rich in raw materials needed to produce vehicle batteries, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese, among more. The plant will process mined Cathode Active Material for GM vehicle batteries, which will then be packed into the automaker’s Ultium lithium-ion pouch cells.
GM is already working with local engineering and construction firms to build the new CAM processing plant, David Paterson, vice-president of corporate and environmental affairs at GM Canada, told Automotive News Canada, however it’s still in the process of lining up mining partners to supply it with the raw material. He also told the publication it is currently talking to “a lot,” of different raw materials suppliers.
The American automaker signed a deal with lithium supplier Livent in July that will see the Philadelphia-based chemicals company supply it with battery-grade lithium hydroxide. Livent is a part owner in the Nemaska Lithium mine project in Quebec, which has received C$80 million in funding from the provincial government there. It also operates a lithium mine in Argentina, within the so-called “lithium triangle,” that encompasses sections of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Vale, a Brazilian mining company, also conducted a feasibility study of a potential nickel sulfate mining site in Bécancour in June, Automotive News Canada reports, however Vale does not yet have ties to GM.
Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, said in June that Canada “is playing an important role in our all-electric future,” and said the automaker is “grateful for the strong support we have received from local, provincial and national officials,” to expand its EV supply chain presence in the country.