France’s Eramet said governments in Europe must help the region’s mining companies gain greater access to metals needed for car batteries, since such resources are mostly found on other continents.
Demand for battery raw materials such as nickel, lithium and cobalt is surging as carmakers accelerate the rollout of electric vehicles across the world. But China dominates the supply and processing of these metals thanks to investments in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.
“We don’t have these resources in Europe, or very little” of them, Eramet CEO Christel Bories said in an interview with BFM Business television on Monday. “Eramet will have to find a way to grow, and Europe must provide funds to secure” access to these materials.
Eramet last year mothballed a project to develop a lithium deposit in Argentina, citing uncertainty in the global economy and particularly in raw-materials markets. In Indonesia, it’s studying a project to produce and refine nickel and cobalt from the Weda Bay mine, with Germany’s BASF SE.