BMW signs Morocco cobalt supply deal

German car maker BMW has reached an agreement with Moroccan mining group Managem for the latter to source €100 million (US$112 million) worth of cobalt for battery cells.
BMW signs Morocco cobalt supply deal BMW signs Morocco cobalt supply deal BMW signs Morocco cobalt supply deal BMW signs Morocco cobalt supply deal BMW signs Morocco cobalt supply deal

For the fifth generation of battery cells, the company has also restructured its supply chains

The Munich-based automotive group says the five-year supply contract with the Moroccan mining company will cover about a fifth of its cobalt needs for the fifth generation of its electric drive trains, with the remainder to come from Australia.

"Cobalt is an important raw material for electromobility. By signing this supply contract with Managem today, we are continuing to secure our raw material needs for battery cells," said BMW purchasing manager Andreas Wendt.

"We are systematically driving electrification of our vehicle fleet. By 2023, we aim to have 25 electrified models in our line-up - more than half of them fully-electric. Our need for raw materials will increase in line with this. For cobalt alone, we expect our needs to roughly triple by 2025."

BMW stressed in its statement that the sustainability of its cobalt supply has driven its purchase decisions.

"For us, ethically responsible raw material extraction and processing starts at the very beginning of the value chain: We take a keen interest in battery cell supply chains that extends all the way down into the mines themselves," said Ralf Hattler, senior vice president of purchasing indirect goods and services, raw material, production partner.

"Sustainability is an important aspect of our corporate strategy and plays a key role in expanding electromobility. We are fully aware of our responsibilities. Cobalt and other raw materials must be extracted and processed under ethically responsible conditions," emphasised Wendt. 

BMW publishes the countries of origin for the cobalt it uses on its website. For the fifth generation of battery cells, the company has also restructured its supply chains and will source lithium, as well as cobalt, directly from 2020 and make these raw materials available to its two battery cell manufacturers, CATL and Samsung SDI.