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April 5th, 2023 | 12:31 CEST

Mercedes-Benz, Canadian North Resources, Rheinmetall: Canada leads the way in raw material supply for electromobility

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  • Commodities
  • PreciousMetals
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Photo credits: Mercedes Benz Group

The energy turnaround is prompting German carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz and defence companies such as Rheinmetall to further expand their search for precious metals. In particular, the Stuttgart-based DAX-listed company has chosen the treasure-rich country of Canada as a cooperation partner for the guaranteed supply of nickel, lithium and cobalt. For explorer Canadian North Resources, such agreements are ideal as the Company pushes ahead with its 100% owned Ferguson Lake nickel, copper, cobalt, palladium and platinum project: further drilling is promising.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka

Table of contents:

    Dr. Thomas Gutschlag, CEO, Deutsche Rohstoff AG
    "[...] China's dominance is one of the reasons why we are so heavily involved in the tungsten market. Here, around 85% of production is in Chinese hands. [...]" Dr. Thomas Gutschlag, CEO, Deutsche Rohstoff AG

    Full interview


    Mercedes-Benz: Pushes forward with direct procurement of raw materials

    Mercedes-Benz reaffirmed its determination to reduce its CO₂ footprint and create sustainable value for all stakeholders at its ESG conference for investors and analysts at the end of March.

    Unlike other carmakers, the Stuttgart-based company is delivering concrete actions to meet its environmental, social and governance responsibilities: By the end of 2023, the new battery recycling plant in Kuppenheim in the south of Germany will be operational. Using an innovative mechanical-hydrometallurgical process, Mercedes-Benz will achieve a recycling rate of over 96% and plans to recycle more than 2,500 tonnes of battery modules annually.

    In addition, Mercedes-Benz is committed to using balance sheet CO₂-neutral cells and batteries. The Group has set itself the goal of reducing the CO₂ footprint of cells by 40%. To achieve this goal, the Company focuses on the cathode material and relies on the use of renewable energies in the production and refinement of raw materials.

    An important step in this direction was the signing of a contract with the German-Canadian start-up Rock Tech Lithium Inc. in 2022, which will supply an average of 10,000 t of lithium hydroxide from 2026 onwards - after a qualification phase.

    Canadian North Resources - Launches drilling programme for precious metals for the energy transition

    If the qualification phase for Rock Tech goes badly, Canadian North Resources is another candidate waiting in the wings to supply the valuable raw materials for electromobility to Europe. Canadian North Resources is an exploration and development company focused on metals for the clean energy, electric vehicle, battery and high-tech sectors.

    The Company is focused on advancing the Ferguson Lake project. This 100% owned project comprises nickel, copper, cobalt, palladium and platinum. It covers an area of 253.8 sq km consisting of mining claims (96.9 sq km) and surrounding exploration claims (156.9 sq km) in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, Canada.

    "We have commenced another 20,000-metre drilling campaign in 2023, following the successful completion of 18,144 m at the Ferguson Lake project in 2022," says Dr Kaihui Yang, the Company's President and CEO. "We will continue to focus on drill testing high-grade base metal and PGM targets along the 15 km main mineralised horizon to expand and upgrade mineral resources. In addition, we will test the lithium potential of the extensively exposed pegmatites identified on the Ferguson Lake property."

    The current drill programme builds on the promising results from last year's completed drill programme. The 18,144 m reached in 68 holes has extended the mineralised zones of the current mineral resource estimate. This estimate shows Indicated Mineral Resources of 24.3Mt grading 0.85% copper, 0.60% nickel, 0.07% cobalt, 1.38 g/t palladium and 0.23 g/t platinum, and Inferred Mineral Resources of 47.2Mt grading 0.91% copper, 0.53% nickel, 0.06% cobalt, 1.4 g/t palladium and 0.25 g/t platinum. The results are extremely promising and encourage the Company to continue investing in developing this promising area.

    Rheinmetall - Supplier of structural components for electromobility

    Rheinmetall's Materials and Trading division is pleased to announce three fresh orders for the production of structural components for electric vehicles. The order value for the Casting Division is in the double-digit million EUR range in each case. Production of the components will begin in 2024.

    Geely, which owns Volvo, among others, has ordered nearly 200,000 shock absorber mounts. Rheinmetall will produce shock absorber mount sets for Geely and other shock absorber mount sets for Jidu Auto, a new car manufacturer entering the market.

    The Castings business unit is a global joint venture between Rheinmetall and HUAYU Automotive Systems Co. Ltd. (HASCO), a subsidiary of the Chinese SAIC Group. Castings consist of two major companies: KS HUAYU AluTech GmbH in Europe and HASCO KSPG Nonferrous Components (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (KPSNC) in China. Rheinmetall and SAIC each hold 50% of the shares in the joint venture.

    To continue to grow economically, German DAX companies are bringing Canadian partners on board to ensure that their supply chains are well supplied with raw materials. Canadian North Resources is an exciting candidate here, having discovered numerous mineral resources such as nickel, cobalt and lithium thanks to further drilling. The drill samples show solid results that may lead to the extraction and mining of valuable raw materials in the near future. Mercedes-Benz was one of the first corporations to set concrete, measurable targets and is already using Canadian raw material partners in its supplier network. Rheinmetall is also picking up: three new major orders for the Chinese market strengthen investors' confidence that they are well positioned with this stock in their portfolio.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author

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