The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
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2ND BATTERY MATERIALS CONFERENCE 2024

ABOUT

THE ARENA, EMNOTWENI CASINO, MBOMBELA,
MPUMALANGA

The intensified search over the past decade for alternatives to fossil fuels as sources of energy, has led to the development of a number of renewable energy technologies. A major issue with renewable energy sources is its intermittency which requires energy storage. This requirement has led to an exponential growth in the demand for batteries and research into battery technologies. The largest application by far has been in transportation, followed by the balancing of electrical distribution grids.

Of the raw materials required for battery manufacture, metals such as cobalt, manganese, vanadium and to a lesser extent nickel are concentrated in southern Africa. The supply of lithium, on the other hand, is mainly concentrated in Australia, Chile and Argentina with only Zimbabwe boasting significant resources in Africa.
These activities have created both opportunities and challenges. Opportunities such as new value chains for the associated raw materials, with several production companies with battery-material metals in their plant feedstocks undertaking research towards producing battery-grade products.

Challenges such as the means for recycling these batteries once they reach the end of their (first) life.

The aim of this conference is to provide the opportunity for thought leaders in the global battery value chain to exchange ideas on recent developments in the fields of:

  • Materials and high-purity intermediates for battery components
    – Novel battery chemistries
  • Flow-battery electrolytes
  • Processes for the recycling of batteries
  • Market outlook and legislative implications
    – New projects and entrepreneurship in the battery industry
  • Related case studies.
    An even sharper focus can be provided by addressing the following questions and hypotheses:
  • Will future battery developments and applications in southern Africa centre more around bulk energy storage by drawing on regional metal resources and addressing local bulk energy shortages?
  • Will lithium-ion batteries continue to dominate most battery applications, with other battery technologies serving only niche applications?
  • What (exactly) are the criteria and specifications for battery materials, intermediates and electrolytes required to achieve the envisaged performance and life of the batteries?
    – What impact will South Africa’s electrical supply issues have on the local motor manufacturing industry and the market for EVs?