Tesla in talks to purchase nickel from Canadian mining firm, claims sources

Tesla Gigafactory Nevada battery cell production line (Credit: Super Factories)

Tesla is reportedly in talks with Canadian mining firm Giga Metals about the development of a large mine that could provide low-carbon nickel for the electric car maker. The update was related to news publication Reuters by three sources reportedly familiar with the matter. 

During the second-quarter earnings call, Elon Musk urged nickel miners to come up with sustainable mining practices that would allow them to work with Tesla, whose electric vehicle and battery storage businesses are growing. Musk noted that companies that could mine nickel in high volumes and in an environmentally-sustainable way would likely receive a generous contract with Tesla. 

“I’d just like to re-emphasize, any mining companies out there, please mine more nickel. Okay. Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel and don’t wait for nickel to go back to some long — some high point that you experienced some five years ago, whatever. Go for efficiency, obviously environmentally-friendly nickel mining at high volume. Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time, if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally-sensitive way,” Musk remarked. 

Giga Metals appears to fit the bill very well, with the company’s plans including a system that would turn waste from its mining operations into cement-type rock using carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and hydropower. Giga Metals’ President Martin Vydra, for his part, did not confirm the firm’s apparent Tesla contract, though he noted in a statement to Reuters that the project will likely cost less than $1 billion. 

“Giga is actively engaged, and has been for some time, with automakers regarding our ability to produce carbon neutral nickel. The cost of developing our project, excluding bringing hydroelectric power to the site, will be less than $1 billion,” Vydra said. 

According to one of the publication’s sources, Giga Metals is looking to produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel and 2,000 tonnes of cobalt for 20 years, which should be enough to help power thousands of electric cars. The mine will reportedly be located in North America, which could help supply nickel for Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada. One of Reuters’ sources further added that any deal between Tesla and Giga Metals will likely cover the entire lifetime of the mine. 

Apart from Giga Metals, fellow Canadian mining firm Canada Nickel Co. has also reached out to offer its services to Tesla. Just days after the electric car maker’s Q2 2020 earnings call, the mining firm stated that it is poised to build a facility that could process zero-carbon nickel. Musk, for his part, seemed to be quite optimistic about the firm’s pitch, stating that the idea “sounds great.” 

Tesla in talks to purchase nickel from Canadian mining firm, claims sources
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