General Motors taps Aussie company Element 25 to help expand US EV supply chain

Image credit: General Motors

Element 25, a Western Australia-based producer of manganese concentrate, has partnered with General Motors to support the production of over 1 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America.

Under the agreement, E25 will provide up to 32,500 metric tons of manganese sulphate annually to support GM’s annual production of EVs in North America. 

As part of the partnership, GM will provide E25 with a USD 85 million (AUD 127.1 million) loan to partially fund the construction of a new facility in Louisiana, which will produce battery-grade manganese sulphate, a key component in lithium-ion battery cathodes. 

Slated to go live in 2025, the facility, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the United States, will manufacture manganese sulphate by processing manganese concentrate from its mining operations in Western Australia. 

In an ASX announcement, the Australian company said it is planning to invest more than USD 90 million (AUD 134. 6 million) in the construction of the 230,000-sq ft facility in Louisiana. Approximately 200 permanent jobs are expected to be created when the facility is fully operational. 

“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, favourable commercial terms and thousands of new jobs, especially in the U.S., Canada and with free trade agreement countries such as Australia,” said Doug Parks, General Motors executive vice president for 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 sulphate, a key component of cathode active material which helps improve EV battery cell cost,” Parks added. 

“E25 aims 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 strategy for HPMSM production 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,” Justin Brown, managing director of E25.