Biden-Harris administration grant to supercharge U.S. manufacturing of EV batteries
Biden-Harris Administration awards $2.8 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to supercharge U.S. manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electric grid. In total 20 companies will receive a combined $2.8 billion, to build facilities for the extraction and processing of lithium, graphite, nickel and other battery materials, battery components, including those components from recycled materials. Thematica - Future Mobility has exposure to four companies that will receive the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment funding. As of 30 September 2022, the Portfolio Weighting of each holding in Thematica - Future Mobility reflected the following allocations: Piedmont Lithium 3.71%, Syrah Resources 2.82%, Talon Metals 2.59% and Albemarle 1.47%.
"Thematica - Future Mobility has exposure to four companies that will receive the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment funding"
Piedmont Lithium - is a leading global developer of lithium resources for the U.S. and will receive a federal cost share of $141,680,442. The project will be located in Tennessee and form part of Tennessee Lithium, with construction of the facility beginning in 2023. It is expected to produce 30,000 metric tons per year of lithium hydroxide for the domestic battery and EV markets. The new plant is expected to be one of the world’s most sustainable lithium processing installations. With Piedmont’s investment of approximately $600 million in the development of Tennessee Lithium, it will not only create 120 new direct jobs, but also double the lithium hydroxide production capacity available in the U.S. at the time of writing. The project site is strategically located in proximity of the Hiawasee River to allow transportation of spodumene concentrate and has direct access to high voltage power, natural gas, water and waste services. The project is expected to drive significant economic activity in the southern states of America.
Syrah Resources - headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, will receive a federal cost share of $219,820,610 through its 100% owned subsidiary Syrah Technologies. Syrah’s facility in the U.S., Vidalia, is located in Louisiana, where the BIL funding will be used to expand fourfold Syrah’s integrated milling, purification, coating, and surface treatment operation producing on-specification active anode material (AAM). Vidalia will be the first large-scale natural graphite AAM producer in the U.S. and is expected to add over 220 jobs combined during its’ multiple phase expansion of the Vidalia facility.
Talon Metals – a high grade nickel developer will receive a federal cost share of $114,846,344, to construct a battery minerals processing facility in North Dakota, to enable a domestic manufacturing of batteries and to establish a cathode supply chain in the U.S. with its’ nickel ore processing facility. Talon has joined forces with Tesla through an agreement to jointly supply 75,000 metric tonnes of nickel in concentrate. Together they will create a powerhouse partnership for the production of nickel, copper, cobalt and iron, covering the majority of battery chemistries. The collaboration between Talon and Tesla not only creates an all-domestic supply chain for mined nickel ore through to recycling, Talon is also strongly committed to fulfilling its’ charter relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives. Consequently, Talon will be working closely with unions and local communities to ensure its’ facility has unilateral support, strong environmental protections whilst contributing to local economic development.
Albemarle - will receive a federal cost share of $149,658,312 to create a new, commercial-scale U.S. based lithium materials processing plant in North Carolina, which will see Albemarle process 8,000 tonnes of spodumene ore per day, equivalent to 2.7 million tonnes per annum. This investment will allow Albemarle to process enough lithium hydroxide for domestic manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cells to power up to 750,00 electric vehicles per year. Albemarle will play a significant role in the U.S. based lithium battery supply chain as well as the electric vehicle market by creating a minimum of 200+ highly skilled full-time jobs.
"the demand for critical minerals such as lithium and rare earths are expected to soar"
With the Department of Energy’s grant of $2.8B from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the government’s goal to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 all electric is within reach and will most likely reach but there is still a tough road ahead to reach this milestone. It is worth noting that EV sales have tripled in the U.S. since January 2021, and with the manufacturing and processing companies across 12 states receiving the grant, the demand for critical minerals such as lithium and rare earths are expected to soar.