Britishvolt to source cobalt from Glencore

Britishvolt has signed a long-term cobalt supply agreement with Glencore. As part of the deal, the commodities group is also investing in the budding battery cell manufacturer.

However, no concrete figures are given – both on the duration and scope of delivery of the cobalt deal and on the raw materials group’s financial participation in Britishvolt. The deal underlines the “need for strategic partnerships between commodity and battery manufacturers on the path to net zero emissions”, Britishvolt writes in the statement. Glencore makes similar comments in its announcement and also does not provide details.

“By partnering with Glencore, we are locking in supply and derisking the project,” says Britishvolt CEO Orral Nadjari. “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.”

David Brocas, Head Cobalt Trader at Glencore, added: “The UK has a unique legacy of automotive innovation and Britishvolt’s ambition to power the next generation of mobility will add to this rich history.”

On the proposed battery factory, Britishvolt repeats familiar data in the announcement of the Glencore deal: The project in Blyth, Northumberland, is to be built in three phases of ten GWh each, reaching full capacity of 30 GWh by the end of 2027. Then 3,000 people are to work in the factory.

Construction of the factory is to begin this year, with production of the battery cells scheduled to start in 2023. The cells produced there will be “mainly” for the automotive industry. It is not yet known which cell chemistry and formats will be built in Blyth – but in view of the Glencore deal, it will not be a cobalt-free cell chemistry.


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