Last updated 17th Jan 2022
The recent announcement by Sweden’s Northvolt that its new gigafactory in northern Sweden has assembled its first battery (making it the first European company to design and manufacture a battery on the continent) generated a lot of press.
The company is aiming for production capacity of 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) which could power 1 million new cars (assuming 60KwH capacity) as it aims for at least a 20-25% market share in Europe by 2030. The company reports it has received over $30 billion worth of contracts from customers such as BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar.
There are currently 38 battery cell gigafactories being planned or built in Europe and the UK, with more than 18 securing funding to date, estimated at up to $30B (USD) between them, with another ten or so having part-funding commitments, including the massive Berlin factory planned by Tesla.
Large projects include Verkor in France, Britishvolt in the UK, Italvolt in Italy, Basquevolt-Nabatt in Spain, and Freyr in Norway.
If all 38 gigafactories come through, 462 GWh worth of battery cells could be produced in 2025 and 1,144 GWh in 2030 – that’s 13 times higher the current European supply of 87 GWh in 2021. This could represent 20-25% of global production capacity or 19M cars a year.
The estimated total 1100 GWh output of the factories would enable Europe to power over 90% of all new vehicle sales by 2030, and require more than 1.5Mt of copper (82kg are required for each new car on average) or 6Mt of copper concentrates, annually. Globally, it is estimated an additional 8Mt of copper may be required by 2030 should global demand for electric vehicles meet estimates (say 40Mpa new EV sales). This is more than 25% of the current refined copper market of 30Mtpa.
Aeramentum Resources aims to supply copper & other important metals, to this rapidly growing European market.
Geoff has qualifications in geology and finance, and specialises in the valuation and assessment of mineral projects. He has worked with mining companies for over 20 years, and spent 7 years in buy/sell side roles as a mining analyst in Sydney for local and international firms. Since 2013 he has advised public and private investors on mining and exploration opportunities globally with a particular focus on pre-development gold and base-metal assets.