An Australian mining company could supply critical materials for electric vehicle motors for Hyundai, while a new EV facility was announced in the US.
- Arafura Resources could supply materials for electric Hyundai cars
- Hyundai invests billions in new US electric vehicle and battery site
- Both projects set to begin in 2025
Hyundai Motor Group is positioning itself to produce electric vehicles (EVs) en masse, with large investments being announced in recent days.
Australian mining company Arafura Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hyundai to supply Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) oxide – a type of rare earth magnet used in the manufacture of high-performance electric motors.
The seven-year agreement is set to begin in 2025, with between 1000 and 1500 tonnes of NdPr oxide expected to be produced at the Arafura’s Nolans mine and processing facility in the Northern Territory.
“The signing of the MoU represents a fantastic outcome and validates the … credentials of the Nolans Project as one of the world’s premier next-generation NdPr ore to oxide projects,” Arafura’s Managing Director Gavin Lockyer said.
“The Nolans Project is strategically significant [for Hyundai] as it offers scale and supply chain diversification and security that will underpin their EV technologies.”
Around 90 per cent of the world’s NdPr supplies are currently sourced from China.
Car makers have been increasingly looking to Australian mining organisations for ethically-sourced materials, crucial for the manufacture of EVs. Last month, Ford signed an MoU with Australian company Lake Resources to potentially supply lithium from its mine in Argentina.
Over the weekend, Hyundai also announced it would invest $US10 billion ($AU14 billion) in new projects in the United States, which the company says are designed to “accelerate innovation and mobility electrification”.
During US President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung announced it would spend $US5.5 billion ($AU7.8bn) on EV and battery manufacturing facilities in the state of Georgia.
A further $US5 billion ($AU7bn) was also earmarked for collaborative projects on robotics, urban air mobility, autonomous driving, and artificial intelligence.
“Hyundai and any company investing in the United States would benefit greatly from entering into partnerships with some of the most highly skilled, dedicated, and engaged workers in the world, anywhere you can find,” President Biden said at the event.
It’s expected the new 2923-acre (1183-hectare) site will break ground in early 2023, with production of 300,000 vehicles set to begin in the first half of 2025.
“We have come a long way and become very successful in a short period of time, but we are also preparing for our future,” said Hyundai Chairman Euisun Chung.
“The Group will strengthen our partnership with US public and private entities to offer innovative products and mobility solutions to our valued customers in the US while supporting global carbon neutrality efforts.
Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment.