Vale confirms deal to supply Canadian nickel for Tesla's batteries
Vale to provide Tesla with Class 1 nickel for battery production in the U.S.
Mining giant Vale confirmed on Friday that it has signed a deal with automaker Tesla to supply nickel from its Canadian operations for electric vehicle batteries.
"We are pleased to have the leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla among our customers," said Deshnee Naidoo, Vale's executive vice-president of base metals, in a press release.
"This agreement reflects a shared commitment to sustainability and shows very clearly we are the supplier-of-choice for low-carbon and high purity nickel products essential for long-range batteries."
Vale said it will supply Tesla with Class 1 nickel for its battery manufacturing facilities in the United States.
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The company said it has a target to deliver 30 to 40 per cent of its Class 1 nickel sales into the "fast-growing electric vehicle industry."
Some industry experts, like electric vehicle business writer Steve LeVine, have said shortages of critical minerals, which include nickel, lithium and cobalt, are likely to slow the expansion of electric vehicles.
LeVine told CBC News automakers plan to build 7.7 million electric vehicles in 2022, but will only have access to enough nickel — a key ingredient in their batteries — to build around 3.6 million that can travel 400 kilometres or more on a single charge.
But he noted Tesla has planned ahead more than traditional automakers, such as Ford and GM, and has secured deals with mining companies to secure the minerals for its batteries.
In March, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford unveiled the province's first critical minerals strategy, which outlined plans to work closely with the mining industry to capitalize on demand for the minerals.
"This strategy details how we will strengthen our supply chains, how we will attract new investments to our province, and how we will ensure that the economic benefits are fairly shared with our Indigenous partners," Ford said during the announcement.