Amplats, Platinum Group Metals launch battery tech JV

South African platinum miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced Monday that it has launched a joint venture with Canada’s Platinum Group Metals (TSX: PTM) to accelerate the development of next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.

The join venture, named Lion Battery Technologies Inc., subsequently entered into an agreement with Florida International University to further advance a research program that uses platinum and palladium to unlock the potential of lithium air and lithium sulphur battery chemistries in order to increase their discharge capacities and cyclability. Lion will gain full rights to all intellectual property developed and lead commercialization efforts.

Last year the university secured a patent for a magnetic battery technology that can quickly power and recharge devices as small as a smartphone or as large as an electric car.

“This new generation of lightweight, power batteries has the potential to grow to scale on the back of the attractiveness of battery electric vehicles and other applications,” Amplats market development head Benny Oeyen said.

“Owing to considerably higher energy density, lithium oxygen and lithium sulphur batteries can perform better, by orders of magnitude, than best-in-class lithium-ion batteries that are currently on the market,” Oeyen added.

The new venture is also reviewing several additional and complementary opportunities focused on developing this battery technology.

Both Amplats and Platinum Group Metals believe that the development of this technology will help them secure long-term, sustainable demand for the platinum and palladium metals they produce.

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