General Motors has secured a significant supply of cobalt after signing a multi-year cobalt sourcing agreement with Glencore. The mining giant will supply the rare metal to GM from its Murrin Murrin operation in Australia.
Cobalt is an important metal in the production of EV batteries, and the cobalt processed from Australia will be used in GM's Ultium battery cathodes. Ultium batteries are used to power electric vehicles such as the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and Chevrolet Silverado EV.
According to the two companies, the agreement builds on a shared commitment to "create strong, sustainable and resilient supply chains through collective industry and multi-stakeholder platforms." Both Glencore and GM are members of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), and Glencore's Murrin Murrin operation complies with the OECD-aligned Responsible Minerals Assurance Process.
"GM and our suppliers are building an EV ecosystem that is focused on sourcing critical raw materials in a secure sustainable manner. Importantly, given the critical role of EVs in reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, this agreement is aligned with our approach to responsible sourcing and supply chain management."
Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain
GM and Glencore did not disclose the duration of the sourcing agreement or its value. Cobalt is a rare metal that makes up only 0.001% of the earth's crust. Known for its heat-resistant properties, it is added to lithium-ion battery cathodes to improve energy density and battery longevity.
The deal with Glencore is the latest in a series of GM actions to develop and secure its EV supply chain. Those include the joint venture with POSCO Chemical to build Cathode Active Material (CAM) at a new facility in Canada, the lithium supply deal with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR), rare earth materials deal with GE to develop a rare earth value chain, alloy flakes agreement with MP Materials to establish the first North American processing site for alloy flakes, and permanent magnets deal with VAC.
All these deals will support GM's plans to have a capacity of 1 million EVs in North America by the end of 2025.