Glencore invests in UK's Britishvolt as part of long-term cobalt supply partnership

by John Shepherd
Battery developer was given the green light to build its gigafactory in north-east England last month. Photo: Britishvolt
Mining giant Glencore has made an undisclosed investment in Britishvolt, the company developing what is set to be the UK’s first lithium-ion battery cells gigafactory.

The partners said today the investment is part of a long-term partnership for the supply of responsibly-sourced cobalt and Glencore will also support Britishvolt when it comes to recycling and use of recycled battery materials.

Britishvolt was given the green light to build its £2.6bn gigafactory in Blyth, north-east England, last month.

CEO and founder Orral Nadjari said today: "This is a huge step in the right direction for Britishvolt as we look to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society. By partnering with Glencore, we are locking in supply and de-risking the project.”

'Market signal'

"At the very heart of our business are our core environmental, social responsibility and governance principles and commitments. Cobalt is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries and knowing that we are being supplied with responsibly-produced cobalt is a signal to the market that we are living by our values.”

Britishvolt’s project will be built in three phases, each of 10 GWh, to a total capacity of 30 GWh by the end of 2027 onwards. Once at full capacity, the facility will have a production capability equating to about enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year, intended primarily for the automotive industry.

Glencore produces cobalt mainly as a by-product of copper mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo and also as a by-product of nickel mining in Australia and Canada.

World Battery News reported earlier this year that Glencore had joined other companies in a pilot project to track responsibly-produced cobalt from the mine to electric vehicles using blockchain technology.

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