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A North American electric vehicle giant Tesla, has signed a contract with Vale-NC for the supply of intermediate mixed nickel and refined cobalt produced in New Caledonia. The contract was signed in March 2020.
This information was confidential and only negotiators had access to it, reports New Caledonia Business. According to their source, Tesla would use the Caledonian nickel-cobalt from Goro for its European factory in Berlin-Brandenburg, currently under construction. By purchasing nickel and cobalt in New Caledonia for its electric batteries, Tesla will meet future requirements from the European Union. From 2022, metals imported into Europe will require ethical, societal, and environmental production standards.
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Antonin Beurrier, CEO of Vale-NC and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, signed a contract, an offtake agreement for the delivery of intermediate mixed nickel and refined cobalt (Nickel Hydroxide Cake-NHC) produced in New Caledonia. The product will become part of Tesla’s battery composition. The purchased volume remains confidential.
According to German press reports, in 2019, Tesla Europe hired a Caledonian engineer from Vale-NC to facilitate procurement and familiarization with the products of the Caledonian plant: "Tesla has recruited an engineer in a nickel-cobalt refinery in New Caledonia, that of Vale, in order to facilitate purchases for its large European electric vehicle factory in Berlin."
At the moment, Tesla has applied for the construction of a factory without a building for the production of batteries. But this does not mean that the company completely abandoned its plan. A facility for the production of batteries can be built in an area that is not in the water protection zone, but close to the main building of Giga Berlin.