Over the past years, Tesla has been trying to establish a supply of nickel, which is an important element in batteries and has been successful in this. Sources said the producer has struck another nickel supply deal, this time with mining giant Vale SA, which has not been announced.
As a leader in electric vehicles, Tesla is well aware of the value of nickel. At Battery Day 2020, when the company unveiled its own 4680 battery cell, Tesla CEO Elon Musk urged mining companies to step up the development of nickel mines. He promised big contracts to those who could mine the metal efficiently in an environmentally friendly way.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has heightened tensions over nickel acquisition by battery companies. The aggressor is one of the largest producers of metal in the world, and sanctions against it have closed access to nickel for many countries. However, this has not been a problem for Tesla, which has been working to secure supplies of the critical battery component in recent years.
In 2021, Tesla signed agreements with several nickel suppliers. That includes a multi-year supply deal with mining giant Vale SA, Bloomberg said Wednesday, citing sources who asked not to be named. This deal has not been publicly announced and its details remain unknown.
Tesla's deal with Vale is one of several the manufacturer has signed over the past year. In January, the company committed to purchasing 75,000 metric tons of nickel concentrate from the Talon Metals Corp. project in Minnesota. This follows an agreement with BHP Group, the world's largest mining company from Australia. Tesla also has an agreement with the operators of a nickel mine on the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.
“People don’t realize how far ahead Tesla is when it comes to securing the supply chain for raw materials and an integrated approach to battery materials,” said Todd Malan, a spokesman for Talon Metals.
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