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ReElement Technologies signs MoU with Afrivolt to set up African battery, EV supply chain

24th January 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Nasdaq-listed American Resources Corporation’s ReElement Technologies has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with energy storage company Afrivolt to establish a lithium-battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing ecosystem in Africa, with a specific focus on West Africa.

Afrivolt aims to develop large industrial projects to support the build-out of Africa’s regional and global lithium-ion battery supply chains.

One of its projects is to build a battery-cell plant in South Africa’s Western Cape province, with site work set to start this year.

ReElement Technologies provides refining capacity for rare earth and critical battery elements.

The MoU was unveiled this week during a visit to Ghana.

The two companies describe the MoU as a “significant stride in Africa's endeavour to establish a comprehensive EV ecosystem and foster economic development driven by the burgeoning lithium industry”.

This ecosystem will use critical minerals sourced from West Africa, with refining and purification to be executed by ReElement Africa and its subsidiaries, including ReElement Ghana.

To fortify the African critical minerals ecosystem, ReElement and Afrivolt note that they will collaborate with local institutions to cultivate the necessary skills pipeline.

ReElement Ghana has already concluded partnerships with the University of Mines and Technology, as well as set up educational exchange programmes with Purdue University, in Indiana, in the US.

Ghana introduced its Automotive Development Policy in 2019 in an effort to foster vehicle and component manufacturing in the country, set to be bolstered by a move away from vehicle imports, including used-vehicle imports.

“Collaborating with Afrivolt is a testament to our commitment to drive innovation and sustainability in Africa’s battery industry,” noted ReElement Technologies Africa CEO Ben Kincaid.

“Through ReElement Africa, we are dedicated to empowering local economies and making global supply chains more resilient.”

“This strategic alliance serves as a vital conduit, channelling essential technology and capital,” commented Afrivolt MD Deshan Naidoo.

“In doing so, it not only catalyses the evolution of the African battery value chain, but also marks a transformative shift, ensuring that the continent transcends its perceived role as mere minerals scratch-patch for the globe.”

ReElement and Afrivolt noted that the MoU was designed to evolve into a “comprehensive offtake agreement for ReElement Technologies to support the operation of African gigafactories”, while it will also support “regional economic development, with nearly all minerals and raw materials sourced regionally from African mines, with a specific initial focus on Ghanaian critical minerals”.

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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