Tesla supplier and key partner, Talon Metals, announced that it has acquired the rights to explore around 400,000 acres of Upper Peninsula land for nickel deposits. The newly acquired land is near Lake Superior and along the southern edge of Channing, MI.
The land is near the only nickel mine in the U.S., Eagle Mine, which is owned by Lundin Mining Corp. and is planning to close down in 2026. Talon Metals plans to explore the area including Eagle’s tailings facility
Rio Tinto previously explored the area but Talon believes its technology strategies and modeling will help it find new deposits.
Brian Goldner, Talon’s Chief Exploration and Operations Officer told Detroit News that he thinks the region of northern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and southern Ontario could have high-grade nickel deposits due to its “mid-continent rift geology” that was formed 1.1 billion years ago.
The importance of sourcing EV Minerals in America
Todd Malan, Talon’s Chief External Affairs Officer and Head of Climate Strategy emphasized the need to source materials to advance the energy transition. He told Detroit News, “Doing it in America with working people participating ensures that we do it at a high standard.”
I reached out to Todd who expanded on his comment. He told me that the company’s expansion is aligned with Senator Manchin’s challenge to the industry to “be aggressive.”
“We can do this. We have good geology in the US and FTA allies like Canada and Australia. We have new resources from governments in the US, Australia, and Canada that are aimed at helping mining and processing ramp up.”
“Some of the leading automakers are taking a true partnership approach to the supply chain and signing offtake agreements, helping suppliers access new government funding or potentially even investing in new innovative companies.”
“Everyone working together can meet Manchin’s content requirements. We need to do this to save the planet, address dependency for battery minerals on potentially hostile countries, and create more good jobs in the US.”
Talon Metals CEO’s statement
Henri van Rooyen, CEO of Talon Metals, also emphasized that the acquisition of the land is a response to Senator Manchin’s challenge. In an emailed press release he said,
“Talon’s acquisition of the Michigan Nickel Properties is directly responsive to Senator Manchin and other national leaders on both sides of the aisle to take urgent action to establish a battery mineral supply chain from mine to battery within the United States.”
“Talon will bring its proven approach to exploration and use cutting-edge technology to explore for new high-grade nickel, iron and copper deposits in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, currently the only region in the United States that produces nickel.”
“The USA currently has only two known high-grade nickel deposits: Talon’s Tamarack Nickel Project in Minnesota and the Eagle Nickel Mine in Michigan. These two exceptional deposits of high-grade nickel are definitive proof of the nickel potential in the Lake Superior region; notwithstanding this, the amount of modern exploration of this nickel-bearing region is minuscule in comparison to other nickel districts around the world.”
“Talon’s experienced team of ‘nickel hunters’ has the benefit of technologies only dreamed of prior to 2020: new technologies mean faster data collection, processing, interpretation, and drilling, culminating in the ability to generate and test a much larger number of high-priority targets simultaneously.”
“Not only is Talon taking an innovative approach to discovery of high-grade battery nickel and battery-grade iron deposits in the USA for various battery chemistries (including NMC, NCA, and LFP batteries), but Talon is also taking an industry-leading approach to protecting the environment, partnering with unions and building broad-based community support where we operate,”
Disclaimer: Johnna is long Tesla.