Hyundai Motor Group has made an announcement regarding the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korea Zinc. The objective of this MOU is to establish a comprehensive partnership spanning the entire nickel value chain. Hyundai Motor Group, a major player in the automotive industry, is set to collaborate with Korea Zinc, a leading non-ferrous metal smelting company based in South Korea.
Key figures involved in the MOU signing ceremony included Heung-soo Kim, Executive Vice-President and Head of Global Strategy Office at Hyundai Motor Group, and Ki Duk Park, President and Co-CEO of Korea Zinc.
The collaboration entails several significant aspects, such as jointly sourcing nickel raw materials, processing these materials, ensuring a consistent supply of processed nickel and battery materials, and exploring potential new ventures like battery recycling.
Both Hyundai Motor Group and Korea Zinc share the common goal of establishing a stable supply chain for nickel, a critical component used in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. They plan to collaborate in purchasing nickel raw materials and investing in mining projects for sourcing materials that meet International Raw Materials Agreement (IRA) requirements.
Hyundai Motor Group recently unveiled a strategic plan aimed at achieving global leadership in the EV industry. By producing approximately 3.64 million EVs, the Group aims to secure a position among the top three global EV manufacturers by the year 2030.
In line with this objective, the Group is actively prioritizing the procurement of essential raw materials like nickel and lithium. As part of this effort, the Group is seeking partnerships with global entities specialized in raw material procurement, processing, and battery material manufacturing.
Korea Zinc, leveraging its expertise in non-ferrous metal smelting, particularly zinc and silver, has been focusing on the EV battery business. The company established a subsidiary dedicated to producing nickel sulphate for EV batteries in 2017. It is further expanding its presence in the EV battery sector, including the establishment of a subsidiary for producing precursor materials for EV batteries and plans to construct a nickel smelter later this year in the Industrial Complex in Ulsan.
The nickel supply resulting from this partnership is slated to commence in 2026. By 2031, Hyundai Motor Group aims to source 50 percent of the nickel required for producing EV batteries meeting IRA standards from its collaboration with Korea Zinc.
This nickel supply is anticipated to not only aid Hyundai Motor Group in securing stable raw materials for EV batteries meeting various regional regulations, such as the European Union’s Critical Raw Material Act (CRMA) and other Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements, but also to contribute to its overall sustainable growth strategy.
As part of the collaboration, HMG Global, an overseas joint venture involving Hyundai Motor, Kia, and Hyundai Mobis, plans to acquire a 5 percent stake in Korea Zinc.