Johnson Matthey to partner Sibanye-Stillwater to boost sustainable battery materials supply

by Margaret Lau
Konin to be JM's first commercial-scale eLNO production plant. Image: JM
Battery tech developer Johnson Matthey (JM) is to partner South African mining group Sibanye-Stillwater on the development of more sustainable supply chains for battery materials.

The companies said they would combine their metals recycling expertise – "particularly for ‘difficult-to-recover’ materials” – to boost decarbonisation and the more efficient use of critical metals, such as platinum group metals (pgms) and metals used in battery technology.

The partnership announcement comes just weeks after Sibanye said it was entering the battery materials supply sector by investing in Finnish lithium developer, Keliber Oy.

Sibanye is a leading global pgm producer, a top-tier gold producer and global recycler of spent catalytic converter materials containing platinum, palladium and rhodium.

'Low-carbon technologies'

JM is developing a battery cathode materials plant in Konin, Poland, which will be its first commercial-scale enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) production facility. The site is expected to start commissioning next year and to supply automotive platforms for production in 2024.

The company recently signed a contract for Swiss renewables producer and marketer, Axpo, to provide electricity for the plant.

JM’s chief executive Robert MacLeod said the agreement with Sibanye would "accelerate development of the low-carbon technologies and sustainable supply chains needed for a cleaner, heathier world”.

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