GM to source cobalt from Glencore

Image: General Motors

General Motors has signed a multi-year supply contract for cobalt with the raw materials company Glencore. Glencore will supply GM with the battery material from a mine in Australia.

The companies did not disclose the details of the supply contract. The cobalt supplied by Glencore from Australia will be used by General Motors in the cathodes of its Ultium batteries, which are used in electric cars such as the Chevrolet Silverado EV, the GMC Hummer EV and the Cadillac Lyriq.

The agreement builds on both companies’ shared commitment to creating strong, sustainable and resilient supply chains through joint industry and multi-stakeholder platforms, the companies wrote in a press release. Both Glencore and General Motors are members of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), it adds. Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operation is compliant with the OECD-compliant Responsible Minerals Assurance Process, it said.

“GM and our suppliers are building an EV ecosystem that is focused on sourcing critical raw materials in a secure sustainable manner,” said Jeff Morrison, GM Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Importantly, given the critical role of EVs in reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, this agreement is aligned with our approach to responsible sourcing and supply chain management.”

Britishvolt also sources cobalt from Glencore. The two companies signed a long-term supply agreement in August last year. As part of the deal, the resources group is also investing in the budding battery cell manufacturer. According to reports from 2020, Glencore also supplies Tesla with cobalt – but from a mine in Congo. In addition, South Korean battery manufacturers SK On and Samsung SDI are cobalt customers of the commodities group.

Glencore is one of several commodity companies testing the blockchain solution ‘Re|Source’ as part of a pilot project to “track responsibly produced cobalt from mine to electric car“. Information on this was published in May 2021. Blockchain technology is considered a proven means of creating transparency in supply chains.


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