Umicore has signed two five-year agreements to be supplied lithium by mining companies Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd and Vulcan Energy Resources.

Lithium is used to make cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), and the agreements will help provide Umicore with extra sustainable and regional supplies to meet the growing demand from the global automotive industry, the company said.

‘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,’ Umicore added. Each supplier has reportedly been assessed as fully compliant against the environmental and human rights principles outlined in the company’s Sustainable Procurement Charter.

‘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,’ said Mathias Miedreich, CEO.

The agreement with Ganfeng Lithium concerns the supply of lithium from hard-rock deposits in Australia as of 2022 and will cover a significant part of Umicore’s future lithium requirements in Asia. From 2025, Vulcan Energy Resources, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, 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 with its Zero Carbon Lithium project, which uses naturally occurring renewable geothermal energy to extract the lithium from a deep brine, emitting zero CO2 in the process, Umicore said.

This story uses material from Umicore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today.