DETROIT–Gneeral Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Perth, Australia-based Element 25 Ltd. (ASX: E25) announced an agreement for Element 25 to supply up to 32,500 metric tons of manganese sulfate annually to support the annual production of more than 1 million GM EVs in North America.
Under the agreement, GM will provide Element 25 with an $85 million loan to partially fund the construction of a new plant in Louisiana for production of battery-grade manganese sulfate—a key component in lithium-ion battery cathodes—starting in 2025. Element 25 will produce manganese sulfate at the plant by processing manganese concentrate from its mining operations in Australia. It is expected to be the first plant of its kind in the United States.
“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, favorable commercial terms and thousands of new jobs, especially in the U.S., Canada and free trade agreement countries like Australia,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “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 sulfate, a key component of cathode active material which helps improve EV battery cell cost.”
Added Element 25 Managing Director Justin Brown: “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 expects to invest approximately $290 million to build a 230,000-square-foot plant. Site preparation is planned to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and the plant is scheduled to open in 2025. The facility is projected to create around 200 permanent jobs when fully operational.
GM continues to strengthen its domestic supply base for EV production. In addition to manganese sulfate, GM has announced direct investments in lithium, nickel and other commodities, as well as cathode active material (CAM) and CAM precursor. GM and its joint venture partners are installing 160 gigawatt-hours of battery cell manufacturing capacity in the U.S., and its suppliers are onshoring production of permanent magnets and other EV components to North America. To date, these initiatives are creating thousands of jobs in states and provinces including California, Louisiana, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Ontario and Quebec.
Element 25 operates the Butcherbird Manganese Project in Western Australia, shipping high quality manganese oxide concentrate to partners in traditional steel related industries. Element 25 has developed an innovative, proprietary, low-cost flowsheet to convert Butcherbird manganese concentrate into battery grade high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate to supply the global EV industry. Manganese sulphate is a precursor for battery cathode active material and critical in Australia, Europe and the USA. Element 25 aims to become an industry leading, world class, low-carbon battery materials manufacturer underpinned by the large, long life manganese resource at Butcherbird. Company information, ASX announcements, investor presentations, corporate videos, and other investor material in the company’s projects can be viewed at: www.element25.com.au.
More about GM at https://www.gm.com.