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Tesla releases list of battery material suppliers, confirms long-term nickel deal with Vale

Tesla has released a list of direct battery material suppliers and confirmed that it has a long-term nickel deal with Vale, the world’s largest nickel producer.

There’s currently a race to secure battery materials in order to support the rapid growth of the EV industry. Several players in the industry have been raising the alarm that there are going to be massive shortages of some of the key materials.

Generally, the miners and refiners deal with the battery cell manufacturers and not the automakers, but the latter started building direct relationships with miners of base metals in order to secure long-term contracts and ensure the flow of batteries years ahead.

Tesla has been amongst the early automakers looking to build those relationships – on top of starting to build its own battery cells recently.

For the first time, Tesla released a list of all its “direct supplier relationships in the battery supply chain”:

AlbemarleLithiumAustralia (mine); China (refinery)Integrated Mine Site + Refiner
LiventLithiumArgentina (mine); China, USA (refinery)Integrated Mine Site + Refiner
Guizhou CNGRCobalt, NickelChinaRefiner
Hunan CNGRCobalt, NickelChinaRefiner
HuayouCobalt, NickelChinaRefiner
Glencore Kamoto Copper CompanyCobaltDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC)Mine site
Glencore Murrin MurrinNickelAustraliaIntegrated Mine Site + Refiner
BHP Nickel WestNickelAustraliaIntegrated Mine Site + Refiner
Prony ResourcesNickelNew CaledoniaMine site
ValeNickelCanadaIntegrated Mine Site + Refiner

Most of these suppliers were known to have a relationship with Tesla; Vale has been rumored lately to have “secret deals” for long-term nickel supply with Tesla. The list confirms the supply relationship.

Vale commented on its following Tesla’s disclosure today:

Vale notes the disclosure by Tesla Inc today and confirms it signed a long-term contract with Tesla Inc to supply Class 1 nickel in the United States from its operations in Canada. This agreement is in line with our strategy to increase exposure to the electric vehicle industry, leveraging our low-carbon footprint and market-leading position as North America’s largest producer of finished nickel.

Deshnee Naidoo, Vale’s Executive Vice President of Base Metals, added:

We are pleased to have the leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla among our customers. 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.

It shows that Tesla is building strong relationships with some of the world’s biggest mining companies in order to secure long-term supply.

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