SMM: Tesla (Tesla) is in talks with Canadian mining company Giga Metals to help develop a large mine, which will give the electric carmaker access to a low-carbon nickel mine used to produce batteries, three people familiar with the matter said.
In addition to reducing pollution caused by driving, Tesla also strives to reduce his carbon footprint.
Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, said in July: "if you can mine nickel efficiently in an environmentally sensitive way, Tesla will give you a huge long-term contract."
Giga Metals's low-carbon nickel mine plan includes converting waste from its mining operations into cement rocks, using carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and using hydroelectric power.
Martin Vydra, president of Giga Metals, declined to comment on any negotiations with Tesla, but said: "Giga has actively approached automakers for some time about our ability to produce carbon-neutral nickel."
"the development cost of our project, excluding bringing solar energy to the local area, will be less than $1 billion."
Tesla didn't respond to a request for comment.
Nickel is used to store energy in batteries and demand for nickel is expected to surge in the coming years as governments, businesses and consumers seek to reduce toxic emissions from fossil fuel vehicles.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts show that as electric vehicle sales soar, battery nickel demand will rise from about 139000 tonnes this year to 1.4 million tonnes in 2030, accounting for 30 per cent of total nickel demand.
The problem for Tesla and other carmakers is that most of the world's new nickel production will come from Indonesia, where the process of producing nickel will involve dumping mining waste into the ocean, a major concern for environmentalists.
Giga Metals's website at the Turnagain mine in British Columbia shows that the mine has measured and shown reserves of 2.36 million tons of nickel and 141000 tons of cobalt. Canada produced 180000 tons of nickel last year.
Giga plans to produce 40, 000 tons of nickel and 2000 tons of cobalt a year within 20 years. This is enough to power thousands of electric cars.
"the mine is located in North America, so it can ensure the supply of the Tesla Nevada super factory," a source said. Canada's environmental protection regulations are one of the strictest in the world.
Tesla can provide financing, possibly in exchange for equity, nickel and cobalt. The source added that the company might agree to buy nickel and cobalt, which would attract financing from other companies.
Sources said that any deal would involve the useful life of the mine, which could be up to 40 years.
According to Tesla's website, Tesla currently has a production capacity of 490000 electric vehicles in the United States and 200000 in Shanghai. With Tesla's expansion plans, a large number of battery materials will need to be obtained from many sources in the future.
According to recent reports, Tesla has agreed to buy cobalt from miner Glencore.
, Giga Metals also discussed the possibility of reaching a deal with other automakers, including Germany's BMW, the sources said. And Daimler's Mercedes.
"We do not comment on supplier relationships for competitive reasons," Daimler said. " BMW said: "We usually do not comment on suppliers that may be hired in the future."
The Turnagain deposit, which is about 1 billion years old, is relatively young and free of impurities, which means that the recovery of nickel and cobalt is high.
Giga can use hydroelectric power in British Columbia, but producing metals produces carbon emissions because it involves diesel-powered machines, trucks, buildings heating and blasting hard rock.
However, the source said the company was working on a process that would allow tailings or waste rock to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into cement-type rock.
A second source said: "Mining and processing ores in Turnagain could produce as much as 28000 tons of carbon dioxide a year." "these tailings can absorb the same tonnage of carbon and neutralize the mine's emissions."
"Click to understand and sign up: 2020 China Automotive New Materials Application Summit Forum
Scan the QR code above to view the business cards of the participating companies and sign up online
Scan the code and apply to join the SMM Automotive Industry Exchange Group.