Senator McBroom’s Round Table Discusses Mining and EV Battery Recycling

HOUGHTON – Michigan’s economy has been linked heavily to the automotive industry for over one hundred years, and the industry will continue to play a role in the state’s economic future; as will another long standing industry, mining. Today, Senator Ed McBroom, hosted an economic round table, to talk about how Michigan and local communities can build for a prosperous future. Much of today’s discussion involved Lundin Mining’s Eagle Mine, and how Michigan can grow the state’s economy off of existing industries and focus on emerging tech in the automotive industry.

I think you need to incentivize throughout the value chain, starting with the drill bit and exploration. Into the mining, into the designing of mines, into the building of mines. Into the building of refineries, manufacturing, and look at how we can incentivize across the supply chain. So that when someone gets that final tax deduction for an EV, it was done the way we want it done in Michigan. – Darby Stacey, Managing Director, Lundin Mining

The aspects of the EV battery supply chain that Michigan does not have a grasp on are the refinery and manufacture. If the Upper Peninsula can support innovations and companies in the battery supply chain, Michigan could be central to the entire manufacturing of electric vehicles; from the raw materials, to off the assembly line.  Michigan Tech researchers have already begun looking into how to use recycled materials in EV battery manufacturing.

We started in 2017, we joined the Department of Energy’s Recell Center in 2018. We are working with multiple national labs, and automotive OEMs to create the most advanced technology for battery recycling. We recently submitted a proposal to the Department of Energy, to demonstrate our transformative Li-Ion recycling technology with our partners in Michigan. – Ruiting Zhan, Postdoctoral Scholar and Researcher, MTU College of Chemical Engineering

Mining companies, automotive manufacturers, and the state government will also need to understand just how viable it is to set up refining and manufacturing in the Midwest. And identify what economic, environmental, and community factors are affected by those opportunities. The round table will meet again tomorrow to discuss more options for growing Michigan and the Upper Peninsula’s economy and populations.