2022年1月17日

Wave of new energy vehicles to drive lithium “hot” domestic leading enterprises to buy mines

Lithium investigation iii

In the wave of electric vehicles to replace fuel cars, who controls the most upstream lithium resources, who will get the electric car tide ticket. At present, lithium enterprises have increased the demand for lithium mineral resources, some leading enterprises have begun to go abroad to acquire lithium ore. Reporters noted that there is no large-scale replacement of lithium batteries. In order to realize the sustainable development of lithium battery industry, in addition to seeking more lithium mineral resources from the upstream, relevant departments and enterprises also strengthen the layout of lithium battery recycling in the downstream industry, but in general, the current lithium battery recycling market has just started, and some lithium batteries are still in a state of random abandonment.

Article/Guangzhou Daily all media reporters Xu Xiaofang, Zhang Lu

Domestic leading enterprises go abroad to buy lithium ore

At present, the supply of lithium resources in the world presents an obvious oligopoly pattern with high industry concentration. For example, Albemarle, SQM, Tianqi Lithium, Ganfeng Lithium and other giants in China control the world’s best quality lithium resources with the lowest production cost. The four leading companies occupy about 70% of the global lithium resource market share, and most of the “self-sufficiency”, the global lithium concentrate loose single is rare.

“This year’s supply of lithium batteries is in short supply. The biggest constraint is the lack of raw material capacity of lithium. The production and sales of new energy vehicles in China have accelerated significantly. Qi Haikun, president of Beijing Teyi Solar New Energy, said the trend is likely to hit new highs in the coming years, which strongly supports the growth of demand for lithium batteries.

Cui Dongshu, secretary general of The National Passenger Car Market Information Association, also said that lithium mineral resources will have a big demand in the future, but the current domestic liquid brine lithium mining area is mainly concentrated in the west, the environment is relatively bad, the infrastructure is relatively imperfect, can not meet the resource demand of domestic power battery enterprises. Therefore, the demand of domestic enterprises for overseas lithium resources becomes more urgent.

Reporters have also noted that in order to control the cost of raw materials, domestic companies are looking to buy lithium ore globally. Earlier, ningde times announced that it would acquire MillennialLithium, a Canadian lithium miner, for about 1.92 billion yuan; On the evening of October 10, Zijin Mining announced that it has entered into a tender offer agreement with Neo Lithium, a Canadian Lithium company, to acquire all outstanding shares of Neo Lithium at C $6.50 per share, for a total consideration of approximately C $960 million (RMB 4.96 billion).

There is no mass replacement for lithium-ion batteries

One of the important reasons why the lithium market is so hot is that the current demand for lithium batteries for new energy vehicles is in the stage of rapid rise. According to Zhang Xiang, a researcher at the Automotive Industry Innovation Research Center at North China University of Technology, there is no large-scale replacement for lithium-ion batteries. “In the mass production of new energy vehicles, in addition to lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells are mainly used, and fuel cells now account for less than 1/1000 of the proportion of new energy vehicles.” According to him, the number of new-energy vehicles in China has exceeded 7 million, of which only over 7,000 use fuel cells. In addition, he said that although the new energy vehicle industry has launched some new batteries, such as sodium ion batteries and graphene batteries, have not yet started mass production, so it is uncertain whether there is an alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

He proposed that early new energy vehicles use lead-acid batteries, but lead-acid batteries not only pollute the environment and have low energy density, so now lead-acid batteries are mainly used in the electric bicycle industry, but the new energy vehicle industry basically uses lithium batteries.

According to foresight institute published “China’s lithium battery industry market demand forecast and investment strategy analysis report said that the lithium battery according to electrolyte materials, shape, outsourcing, positive/negative material on the use of the material and performance division, one of the most main is the positive electrode material as a basis for the division of lithium battery products, lithium battery classification according to the anode material, There are mainly three cathode materials, lithium iron phosphate, lithium cobalt acid and lithium manganese acid four kinds of anode materials are generally natural graphite and artificial graphite.

“At present, the mainstream products in the market of lithium battery industry are lithium iron phosphate and ternary lithium, lithium iron phosphate is relatively cheap, although the energy density is slightly lower, but the safety is higher, the sales proportion is rising rapidly, lithium iron phosphate battery cost-effective advantage in the field of electric energy storage also has a large market space. And ternary lithium batteries with high energy density, especially high nickel ternary lithium batteries with higher safety will be widely used in high-end brand electric vehicles, after all, the higher the price and the higher the range of electric vehicles.” Qi haikun said.

The recycling market has just taken off. Carelessly discarded batteries cause pollution

In recent years, China has started the road of transformation from automobile power to automobile power. With the increasing number of battery demand and decommissioning, enterprises around the country have begun to layout the power battery recycling field, and the current national battery recycling related specifications and technical standards also need to step up.

Enter 2021, policy level frequently for power battery recycling power. A few days ago, the Department of Energy Conservation and Comprehensive Utilization of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology organized a seminar in Beijing to promote the promotion of power battery recycling and automobile product producer responsibility extension. Meeting summary combed the new energy vehicle power battery recycling system construction, the industrial development trend, key technology innovation, etc., analyzed the current power battery recycling faces new situation and new requirements, around the power battery recycling management system construction, resource synergy regulation, the business model to explore aspects of communication as well as the next step work ideas for discussion.

“The recycling market for lithium batteries has just started, and without relevant subsidy support, it is difficult to make a profit in the current recycling market.” According to Zhang Xiang, the current recycling of lithium batteries can be divided into two categories: one is to disassemble the batteries, take out the individual batteries with better quality, recombine and match them for energy storage, “for example, a lot of photovoltaic power generation can be stored in the energy storage battery.” Zhang Xiang, for example, said that the current first recycling method is mainly used with photovoltaic power generation. “Another way is to recycle the batteries, remove the low battery, and then take out the batteries that still have a certain amount of power and re-select them. The batteries with similar power are re-matched into a new battery pack, which can be used in car maintenance.”

Lithium battery recycling, as a fledgling market, there is no clear industry data showing exactly how many lithium batteries in the new energy vehicle industry have been recycled, Zhang Xiang said, there are a lot of discarded lithium batteries, just simply discarded, such operations may cause environmental pollution, soil pollution, etc. However, carelessly using the battery for other purposes can easily cause spontaneous combustion and explosive fire.

According to Tianyan, as of November 26, 2021, there are 27,025 enterprises in China whose business scope includes “power battery recycling”. Among them, 21,193 were newly registered in 2021, accounting for 78.4 percent of all existing enterprises. In terms of registered capital, 10,749 power battery recycling enterprises with registered capital of more than 5 million yuan accounted for 39.8%.

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