Finnish battery minerals
Raw materials are by far the most expensive part of the battery cells. They form approximately 50% of the costs, and the annual demand of lithium, cobalt and nickel – the most critical raw materials – is estimated to multiply within the next six years. In this equation, local raw material production has an important role in building the competitiveness of electric vehicle battery production.
Finland is the biggest nickel producer in the EU. It is the only EU country with its own cobalt production and known resources exceeding 445,000 tonnes. Both lithium and graphite production is planned to start in the 2020s.
Terrafame Oy, the Finnish mining company specialised in the bioleaching process, is leading the way in the local mining industry. The company utilises microbes to extract metals from ore and its bioleaching method is proven to be an energy-efficient way of producing nickel, for example. On the whole, the greenhouse gas emissions of the nickel production process are around 40%, sulphur dioxide emissions 2% and energy consumption 20% lower than average.