Umicore signs long-term sustainable lithium contracts with Ganfeng and Vulcan

Regional website Germany

Umicore announces today the signing of long-term lithium supply agreements with Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. and Vulcan Energy Resources. Both contracts have an initial duration of five years and can be extended upon mutual agreement.

Lithium is a critical raw material for the production of cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. With the transitioning to electromobility accelerating in key regions, these long-term agreements will provide Umicore with additional sustainable and regional supply of this key raw material to meet the growing demand for cathode materials of its global automotive customers.

With these agreements Umicore also reconfirms its strong commitment to support the global growth of its customers through the creation of a sustainable battery materials value chain. Each supplier has been assessed as fully compliant against the environmental and human rights principles outlined in Umicore’s Sustainable Procurement Charter. The suppliers’ carbon footprint was also an important consideration for Umicore, which itself aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gases (scope 1 & 2) by 2035.

Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore said: “In light of the accelerating transition to electromobility it is crucial to secure reliable supply of critical raw materials, that is also environmentally and socially responsible. These long-term supply agreements mark another important step in Umicore’s sustainable procurement strategy and demonstrate our strong commitment to support the growth of our global customers through the creation of sustainable and regional battery materials value chains.” 

The agreement with Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd, based in Jiangxi - China, concerns the supply of lithium as of 2022 and will cover a significant part of Umicore’s future lithium requirements in Asia. The lithium is mined from hard-rock deposits in Australia under the strictest sustainability standards.

“We are looking forward to our future cooperation with Umicore,” added Mr. Wang Xiaoshen, the Vice chairman of Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. "We believe our sustainable and high-quality lithium products will be helpful for the creation of Umicore's sustainable value chain.”

The agreement with Vulcan Energy Resources, based in Karlsruhe – Germany, will take effect as of 2025. It will cover part of Umicore’s future lithium hydroxide needs in Europe, allowing Umicore to purchase between 28,000 and 42,000 tons over the duration of the contract. The supplied lithium hydroxide will be harvested by Vulcan Energy in the framework of its unique Zero Carbon Lithium™ project in Germany, which uses naturally occurring renewable geothermal energy to extract the lithium from a deep brine, emitting zero CO2 in the process.

Managing Director Francis Wedin commented: “Umicore, a leading cathode manufacturer and the first in Europe, will be a valuable offtake partner for Vulcan, as a direct consumer of Vulcan’s lithium hydroxide products. Importantly, Umicore also shares our ambition to decarbonise the battery supply chain in Europe, by building a carbon neutral cathode plant in Poland. We look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation with Umicore as we progress our ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project.

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