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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Materials Science Profiles of Progress: CMI Expands Collaborative Research Focus to Include Lithium and Cobalt

    The Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a Department of Energy research hub under the auspices of Ames Laboratory, is expanding its research on tech metals “as rapid growth in electric vehicles drives demand for lithium, cobalt.”

    According to a recent Ames Lab press release, the Institute will focus on maximizing the efficiency of processing, usage and recycling of Lithium and Cobalt starting this summer.

    Says CMI Director Alex King:

    “The global tech economy is heating up, and we’re likely to see high demand for a growing number of materials. We are trying to anticipate possible short-term supply issues through specifically targeted research and industry partnerships.”

    Since the research hub’s launch in 2013, it has engaged in 36 separate collaborative projects, most of which were initially focused on REEs.  CMI points out that while REEs will remain a key focal area, there is good reason to look beyond:

     “Other key manufacturing material supplies are in need of the Hub’s fast-moving collaborative approach. Research from National Laboratories and academic institutions is combined with engineering know-how from manufacturers, economic analyses, and assistance from AI and machine learning to rapidly find solutions to domestic shortages of manufacturing materials.

    The list of materials under CMI’s scrutiny has expanded to include not only lithium and cobalt, but also manganese, vanadium, gallium, indium, tellurium, platinum group metals, and graphite.”

    The advances of material science, which will yield new battery, solar cell and fuel cell technologies, will continue to drive demand for these materials.  CMI Deputy Director Rod Eggert points to associated possible supply challenges, and specifically the Co-Product challenge ARPN has recently outlined in a new report. Says Eggert:

    “These [materials] present possible supply challenges for a number of reasons.  Some of them are produced in small quantity as by-products of other mining processes; some are subject to unstable geopolitical conditions.” 

    In its research efforts, CMI relies on collaboration with academia as well as the private sector – an approach that has already yielded some great breakthroughs, several of which we have featured in our “Materials Science Profiles of Progress” series on the ARPN blog.

    To learn more about the above-referenced Co-Product challenge, read ARPN’s most recent report entitled “Through the Gateway. A Look at how Gateway Metals and their Co-Products Underpin Modern Technology”

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  • Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s World Tour Returns to U.S. this May

    Our friends from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – formidable experts when it comes to battery tech and the mineral resources driving it – are returning to the U.S. in May for another round of their World Tour.

    This year’s tour will “focus on the supply chains for the next generation of battery technologies,” and seek to answer the question of what is next “as we enter the era of advanced lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles and utility storage?”

    The Benchmark World Tour 2018 will explore to what extent advancements in the field could impact the supply chain for mineral resources – Lithium, Cobalt, Vanadium and Graphite, all of which have made U.S. Secretary of the Interior Zinke’s recently-released draft list of critical minerals.

    Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Managing Director Simon Moores, who is also a member of the ARPN panel of experts, and his team will be at the following locations in May:

    New York – Monday 7 May 2018

    Toronto – Wednesday 9 May 2018

    Chicago –  Friday 11 May 2018 (with Deutsche Bank)

    San Francisco – Monday 14 May 2018 (with Deutsche Bank)

    Vancouver – Wednesday 16 May 2018

    For more information, and to RSVP for one of the free seminars of the Benchmark World Tour 2018, click here.

    While individual agendas are still TBD, demand for the events is expected to be even higher than last year – so don’t hesitate to register.

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  • Sweden Tosses Hat Into Ring In Race For Materials Underpinning EV Revolution

    As the race for the metals and minerals driving the electric vehicle revolution heats up, and China continues to jockey for pole position, Sweden is tossing its hat into the ring.  According to recent media reports, the Swedish government has earmarked 10 million kronor ( roughly one million Euros) to explore the option of digging [...]
  • 2018 – A Tipping Point For U.S. Resource Policy and Related Industries?

    The following is a guest post by ARPN expert panel member Chris Berry, Founder, House Mountain Partners. His expertise focuses on, but is not limited to, energy metals including Lithium, Cobalt, Graphite, Vanadium and Rare Earths. The Executive Order recently signed by President Trump to prioritize domestic natural resource development couldn’t have come at a [...]
  • Automakers Pledge to Uphold Ethical and Socially Responsible Standards in Materials Sourcing. Where Will the Metals and Minerals Come From?

    Late last month, international automakers made headlines when pledging “to uphold ethical and socially responsible standards in their purchases of minerals for an expected boom in electric vehicle production.” As Reuters reported, a group of 10 car manufacturers have formed an initiative to “jointly identify and address ethical, environmental, human and labor rights issues in [...]
  • Nickel – The “Metal That Brought You Cheap Flights” Now “Secret Driver of the Battery Revolution”

    Another week, another great infographic by Visual Capitalist – this time on the “Secret Driver of the Battery Revolution” – Nickel. Long an important base metal because of its alloying capabilities, Nickel’s status as a Gateway Metal, yielding access to tech minerals like Cobalt, Palladium, Rhodium and Scandium – all of which are increasingly becoming [...]
  • Moores’ Law: The Rise of Lithium Ion Battery Megafactories and What it Means for Critical Mineral Resource Supply

    Earlier this month, Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and member of the ARPN panel of experts testified before the full U.S. Senate Energy Committee on opportunities and risks in the energy storage supply chain.   We’re titling his observations as Moores’ Law — which is his for the taking, given the placement [...]
  • Senate Energy Committee Zeroes in on Energy Storage Revolution – Where Will the Battery Megafactories Get the Minerals and Metals They Need?

    Just last week, we highlighted the surge in EV technology and its implications for mineral resource supply and demand.  A timely subject – as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy held a “Full Committee Hearing “to Examine Energy Storage Technologies” this week. Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence [...]
  • The Surge of EV Technology and Implications for Mineral Resource Supply and Demand

    You may have caught Elon Musk’s exchange with Daimler on Twitter over investment in EV technology earlier this week. Vacuum giant Dyson has also tossed its hat into the ring announcing that it will spend $2.7 billion to develop an electric car. The headlines are piling up, and it’s no longer a secret that demand [...]
  • Why Cobalt Should be High on Your Radar

    In a recent article, the Financial Times zeroes in on one of the metals followers of ARPN will know is becoming increasingly indispensable to 21st Century clean energy technology: Cobalt.  Once an obscure metal you rarely heard about, this co-product of Nickel and Copper is increasingly afforded “critical mineral status” – primarily because of its [...]

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