JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation, a subsidiary of JX Holdings, has announced that it will invest ¥9.2 billion ($110 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) to substantially increase production of cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries specifically engineered for the plug-in vehicle industry. Currently, JX Nippon produces 300 metric tons of li-ion cathode materials per year. However, the mining corporation claims that its output will skyrocket to 5,000 tons annually by 2012. That target is more than 16 times higher than what JX Nippon currently cranks out.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, JX Nippon intends to develop an efficient system to recover the rare-earth metals contained within used lithium-ion batteries. This resource recycling system, if developed, could provide JX Nippon with access to a consistent supply of the metals utilized to produce lithium-ion cathode materials.
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