British multinational mining company Anglo American has entered a research and development collaboration with Chinese battery material recycler GEM.

The partnership aims to enhance the efficiency of battery materials used in EVs by developing new metal-dissolving technologies.

The project will focus on nickel, cobalt and manganese, key components in EV batteries.

Anglo American Base Metals Marketing executive head Paul Ward said: “Our diversified portfolio includes a range of products critical to the long-term decarbonisation of transport – a sector estimated to account for over 15% of global emissions.

“We are collaborating with leaders in the sector to explore new technologies that build on the physical qualities of our portfolio of products to help tackle some of the key challenges facing the industry and contribute to the sustainable scale-up of EV travel.

“Our work in this space is part of our commitment to supply our customers with products tailored to their specific needs and that capitalise on the opportunities offered by ongoing technological innovation.”

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By GlobalData

Anglo American and GEM will investigate the use of existing and alternative raw materials for EV batteries.

The collaboration is expected to improve the utilisation of battery materials through both mined and recycled sources.

The initiative is timely, as China, the world’s largest EV market, is projected to see sales of eight million vehicles in 2023.

GEM’s expertise in battery recycling and mineral extraction complements Anglo American’s role as a supplier of precious metals for the automotive industry.

The company’s metals are crucial for catalytic converters, which reduce pollutants in car exhaust gases. Furthermore, Anglo American has been a proponent of the hydrogen economy, supporting the adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles.

This partnership is poised to explore innovative technologies that could revolutionise the battery value chain.

By focusing on the efficient use of materials, Anglo American and GEM are working towards more sustainable and cost-effective solutions in the rapidly growing EV sector.

GEM founder and chairman Xu Kaihua said: “We have over two decades of experience in recycling batteries and electronics and have invested heavily in understanding the processes needed to recover raw materials essential for the energy transition.

“This collaboration marks an important step for us, as we seek to drive synergies with industry leaders such as Anglo American that participate in the critical raw materials value chain and share our commitment to advancing technological development to shape a more sustainable future for the transport sector.”