GM, ramping up for EV production, reaches cobalt supply deal with miner Glencore

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General Motors on Tuesday inked a deal with Glencore to secure cobalt from the global miner’s Murrin Murrin operation in Australia, as it boosts electric vehicle production to meet rising demand.

The cobalt will be used in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes, which powers the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq vehicles, the companies said in a joint statement.

The companies did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on the size of the supply agreement.

The multi-year deal comes as automakers around the world rush to make deals with miners and secure supplies of lithium, nickel and cobalt, which are critical components of EV batteries.

Rival Ford Motor Co. said on Monday it had signed a preliminary deal to buy lithium from a Lake Resources facility in Argentina.

Rising sales of EVs and a scramble along the supply chain to secure materials have propelled prices of battery ingredients to multi-year highs.

Cobalt, a metal that makes up 0.001 percent of the earth’s crust, provides EV batteries with energy density that increases the range of electric vehicles and boosts their life.

GM, which has laid out plans to ramp up capacity to build one million EVs in North America by the end of 2025, also has an agreement with General Electric Co. to develop a supply chain of rare earth and other materials.

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