General Motors and Element 25 Limited announced today an agreement for Element 25 to supply up to 32,500 metric tons of manganese sulfate annually to support the annual production of more than 1 million GM EVs in North America.
Under the agreement, GM will provide Element 25 with a US$85 million loan to partially fund the construction of a new facility in the state of Louisiana for production of battery-grade manganese sulfate — a key component in lithium-ion battery cathodes — starting in 2025. Element 25 will produce manganese sulfate at the facility by processing manganese concentrate from its mining operations in Australia. It is expected to be the first facility of its kind in the United States.
“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, favorable commercial terms and thousands of new jobs, especially in the U.S., Canada and free trade agreement countries like Australia,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, 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 sulfate, a key component of cathode active material which helps improve EV battery cell cost.”
Element 25 Managing Director Justin Brown said: “E25 is working 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 expansion 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.”
Element 25 expects to invest approximately US$290 million to build a 230,000-square-foot facility. Site preparation is planned to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and the plant is scheduled to open in 2025. The facility is projected to create around 200 permanent jobs when it is fully operational.
GM continues to strengthen its domestic supply base for EV production. In addition to manganese sulfate, GM has announced direct investments in lithium, nickel and other commodities, as well as cathode active material (CAM) and CAM precursor. GM and its joint venture partners are installing 160GWh of battery cell manufacturing capacity in the U.S., and its suppliers are onshoring production of permanent magnets and other EV components to North America. To date, these initiatives are creating thousands of jobs in states and provinces including California, Louisiana, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Ontario and Quebec.