Home » Anglo American Partners with GEM in Pioneering Battery Recycling Project

Anglo American Partners with GEM in Pioneering Battery Recycling Project

New R&D Collaboration Aims to Revolutionize Battery Material Usage, Enhancing Electric Vehicle Efficiency

by Adenike Adeodun

Anglo American, a global mining giant with roots in South Africa and listings in Johannesburg and London, has taken a significant step towards sustainable technology. In a landmark move, the company announced on Friday a joint research and development venture with Shenzhen-based GEM, a leading name in battery and battery material recycling in China. This project marks a pivotal moment in the pursuit of more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies in the realm of electric vehicles (EVs).

The initiative’s primary goal is to explore innovative methods for using both existing and alternative raw materials in batteries. These efforts are crucial as the world shifts towards battery-electric vehicles in the face of growing environmental concerns. The project’s focus lies in developing metal dissolving technologies, particularly for metals like nickel, cobalt, and manganese, crucial components in battery production. The aim is not only to improve existing processes but also to delve into new materials currently not utilized in the battery value chain.

GEM, a company with over two decades of expertise in battery recycling, brings to the table its pioneering technology and profound understanding of the mineral extraction process. This collaboration is a testament to Anglo-American and GEM’s shared vision for a sustainable future in transport technology.

According to a report by Mining Weekly, Paul Ward, the executive head of base metals and marketing at Anglo, emphasized the significance of this partnership. He noted that it aligns with Anglo’s commitment to supply tailored products to customers while leveraging technological innovation. This initiative is part of a broader effort by Anglo American to contribute to the decarbonization of the transport sector, a major emitter of global greenhouse gases.

China, the world’s largest electric vehicle market, plays a critical role in this venture. The country’s rapid growth in EV sales, coupled with its stringent emissions regulations, presents a unique opportunity for companies like Anglo-American. Anglo’s expertise in platinum group metals (PGMs) is already aiding the automotive industry by enabling catalytic converters to reduce car exhaust pollutants.

The launch of the world’s first green hydrogen-powered haulage truck at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena PGMs mine in South Africa is a prime example of the company’s commitment to innovative and sustainable solutions. This development aligns with Anglo’s advocacy for fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), a zero-emission option catalysed by the PGMs they mine.

The hydrogen economy, particularly in South Africa, is a burgeoning field that offers substantial growth potential for PGMs. This new sector not only promises significant contributions to GDP and job creation but also plays a crucial role in green hydrogen production and application. With the Southern African region boasting numerous green hydrogen-linked projects and favorable conditions for renewable energy production, the stage is set for transformative change.

This project represents the confluence of innovation, sustainability, and industrial advancement. It underscores the commitment of both Anglo American and GEM to reshape the transport sector and contribute to a cleaner, greener future. The collaboration also highlights the importance of strategic partnerships in tackling global challenges and the pivotal role that mining and recycling sectors play in the transition to sustainable energy solutions.

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