Sumitomo Metal Mining to Boost Production Capacity of Lithium Nickel Oxide to Meet Tesla Model S Demand

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 8

Sumitomo Metal Mining Header

Sumitomo Metal Mining Header

In direct response to the Tesla Model S selling at increasingly high volumes, Sumitomo Metal Mining announced that it will invest approximately $48 million to more than double its production capacity of lithium nickel oxide, a vital component of the Panasonic cells that power the Model S.

Tesla Model S Has an Unmatched Thirst for Lithium-ion Cells

Tesla Model S Has an Unmatched Thirst for Lithium-ion Cells

Sumitomo says output of lithium nickel oxide will increase from 300 tons per month to approximately 850 tons per month to meet Model S demand.

This was a necessary move by Sumitomo if it was to keep up with Panasonic announcement that its lithium-ion cell production is steadily increasing to fulfill demand from the Model S.

Tesla Motors is delivering its Model S to two continents right now, but come Spring 2014, the Model S will enter its third continent: Asia.

Model S sales in Asia are slated to begin in Hong Kong and China first, with Japan following soon after.

Sumitomo says that the necessary steps to boost production capacity will be completed by June 2014.

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8 responses to "Sumitomo Metal Mining to Boost Production Capacity of Lithium Nickel Oxide to Meet Tesla Model S Demand"

  1. Spec says:

    Job creation!

  2. Warren says:

    Resource depletion!

    1. David Murray says:

      yeah but at least these resources can be recycled. Resourced like fossil fuels are quite a different story.

  3. Assaf says:

    Where are their mines?

    The ANL battery report I read pinpointed the most common sources in Chile and Nevada. A book we have on elements says that the world’s largest reserves are in Bolivia.

    1. scott moore says:

      A net search just revealed that sumitomo has a production facility in Japan, without mentioning the source. A net search with “bolivia” showed information on agreements between the company and the bolivian Government. A similar search on Chile and Nevada showed nothing.

      We both have that book. When it was written, the author strongly implied that Bolivian lithium mining was a backwater operation, slowed by the local socialists. I suspect that is changing (water may be a universal solvent, but cash works pretty well, too).

      Do a search on “bolivian lithium mining”, you get lots of hits.

      Unrelated joke from my Brazilian friend:

      God is busy creating the world in 7 days, and is working on south america.

      God: to this continent, we are going to place most of the worlds riches, the minerals, the oil, the forests and the fresh water.

      Angel: Isn’t that too much to put in just one area of the world?

      God: don’t worry. Wait until you see the people I put there…

  4. Warren says:

    The world needs cell phones and laptops, a lot more than it needs another luxury car. In fifty years the world may look like that EV ad, with gas powered computers.

    1. scott moore says:

      From lithiummining.com:

      “Once the lithium is recovered by-products include saleable compounds such as potash or boron and the chemicals used can be recycled. Lithium recovery from brines may lead to a significant carbon footprint reduction because of a nearly zero-waste mining method.

      It may seem like lithium is a rare metal but that is not entirely true. Lithium is found in many places on our planet, including in our oceans. However, the extraction and processing takes scientific expertise, clever engineering and investments to produce industry-grade lithium.”

      1. Warren says:

        If history is any guide, the place will be trashed, the locals will be left with nothing but a waste pile, and the profits will be in Swiss banks.