MOROCCO – Managem Group, Morocco’s largest integrated mining operator, has signed a US$114 million (€100 million) contract to supply Cobalt to the German automobile giant BMW.
According to the statement by BMW, the contact with the Managem group will cover about a fifth of the BMW’s cobalt needs for the manufacture of fifth generation of battery cells.
The 5-year contract which takes effect in 2020 and expires in 2025s falls within the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the two parties signed in January 2019 in the city of Marrakech.
Andreas Wendt, head of BMW AG Purchasing and Supplier Network, said that cobalt is an important raw material for electromobility.
Wendt further noted that the recently signed contract with Managem will continue to secure the company’s need for battery cells.
“We are systematically driving electrification of our vehicle fleet. By 2023, we aim to have 25 electrified models in our line-up – more than half of them fully-electric,” added Wendt.
Wendt emphasized the important aspect of BMW’s corporate strategy, pledging the company’s awareness of its responsibilities in dealing with the extraction and processing of cobalt.
“Cobalt and other raw materials must be extracted and processed under ethically responsible conditions” he said.
Morocco is the world’s 12th largest exporter of cobalt, thanks to the Bou-Azzer mine, 120 kilometers south of Ouarzazate in the Sahara Desert.
The mining region is known for being rich in minerals such as Zinc, Baryte, Manganese, Iron, Copper, and Fluorite.
The recently signed agreement follows Morocco’s adoption of new legislation to attract investment in the field of mining and improve its performance.
The draft law aims to establish judicial mechanisms to enhance the attractiveness of national and foreign investments in the mining sector in the regions of Tafilalet and Figuig, eastern Morocco.
The strategy also seeks to boost mineral exploration with a budget of MAD 4 billion ($416 million), as well as creating 30,000 jobs.
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