Electra’s study on integrated EV battery materials
Monica FergusonOperations overcoming barriers Automotive battery black mass material Electra Battery Materials electric vehicle battery engineering firm nickel sulfate precursor cathode active material
Electra Battery Materials released highlights of a study prepared by a global engineering firm supporting the creation of an integrated electric vehicle battery materials park in Ontario that would include nickel, cobalt and manganese refining, recycling of battery black mass material, and precursor cathode active material (pCAM) manufacturing.
The study assessed the economics and carbon footprint of various nickel feed options to develop an integrated facility producing 10,000 tonnes per annum of battery grade nickel sulfate and nickel equivalent pCAM, components essential to production of electric vehicle batteries. All amounts are in US currency unless otherwise noted.
“With US electric vehicle manufacturers moving swiftly to reduce reliance on Chinese and Russian critical minerals in order to qualify for the $7,500 EV credit under the Inflation Reduction Act, Electra is capitalizing on the opportunity to provide secure domestic supply of EV battery materials,” said Trent Mell, CEO, Electra Battery Materials. “The scoping study supports our view that an integrated refining-recycling-pCAM battery materials complex in Ontario would deliver compelling economics, emit low carbon emissions and address the onshoring of battery materials needed by the North American automotive industry.”
The study examined the construction of a battery grade nickel sulfate refinery in Ontario by 2025-26, with three feed base loads: nickel sulfides, Class 1 nickel metal and ferro nickel, supplemented with recycled battery black mass and nickel-rich mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP).
Capital costs to build an integrated facility producing 10,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfate and nickel equivalent pCAM materials are anticipated to be between $550 and $650 million.
Operating costs to produce 10,000 tonnes per annum of nickel sulfate and nickel equivalent pCAM materials on an integrated basis are anticipated to be between $125 and $133 million per year or between $13,000 and $13,600 per tonne of nickel sulfate produced (excluding by-product credits), configured for NMC 811 EV battery chemistries.
The integrated production facility is expected to contribute $225 million of GDP impact during the construction phase, including $112 million of salaries and $35 million of taxes plus an additional $415 million during the first 10 years of operations, including $111 million of salaries and $78 million of taxes.