Tesla Secures Nickel Supply from Australia’s BHP

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Tesla and the world’s largest nickel miner, BHP in Australia, have signed a new deal to supply the electric automaker with nickel for its batteries.

According to BHP, it will supply Tesla with nickel from its Nickel West mine in Western Australia, which it says is “one of the most sustainable and lowest carbon emission nickel producers in the world.”

Tesla uses nickel as a key component of its battery technology, used in its vehicles and energy storage systems.

“Demand for nickel in batteries is estimated to grow by over 500 per cent over the next decade, in large part to support the world’s rising demand for electric vehicles,” said BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, in a statement.

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with Tesla Inc., and to collaborate with them on ways to make the battery supply chain more sustainable through our shared focus on technology and innovation,” added Pant.

Beyond supplying Tesla with nickel, both companies also will collaborate on:

  • ways to make the battery supply chain more sustainable, with a focus on end-to-end raw material traceability using blockchain
  • technical exchange for battery raw materials production
  • promotion of the importance of sustainability in the resources sector, including identifying partners who are most aligned with BHP and Tesla Inc.’s principles and battery value chains
  • energy storage solutions to identify opportunities to lower carbon emissions in their respective operations through increased use of renewable energy paired with battery storage

“BHP produces some of the lowest carbon intensity nickel in the world, and we are on the pathway to net zero at our operations. Sustainable, reliable production of quality nickel will be essential to meeting demand from sustainable energy producers like Tesla Inc.,” added BHP Minerals Australia President, Edgar Basto.

This deal marks the third nickel agreement Tesla has signed in the past eight months, with the others being with Brazil’s Vale and a mine in New Caledonia. With most nickel being produced in Indonesia, and Chinese companies controlling production, Tesla looks to be achieving its previously stated goal of finding low-carbon nickel suppliers.

The news of the Tesla deal sent shares of BHP Group up 2.59% in Australia on Thursday morning.

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