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GM secures nickel for EV ramp-up from Vale’s new Quebec Battery Valley factory

GM and Vale announced that they have come to an agreement for the former to get a significant part of the nickel sulfate that Vale plans to produce at its upcoming new Quebec Battery Valley factory.

There’s a region in Quebec around Bécancour, just outside of the city of Trois-Rivières, that people are starting to call “Quebec’s Battery Valley.”

The name comes from several different investments made by companies over the last few years to build an entire supply chain of battery materials in the region.

Nouveau Monde Graphite is building an anode material processing plant. Nemaska Lithium is building a lithium processing plant.

Posco is building a $400 million factory to produce cathode material for EV batteries.

Vale, the largest nickel miner in the world, also announced plans to build a nickel sulfate facility in the same valley.

Amid a battery material industry dominated by Asian companies, all these projects could end up being the first of their kind in North America.

Interestingly, GM has been increasingly involved and has secured a lot of battery material capacity coming from Quebec’s Battery Valley.

The American automaker has partnered with Posco on the cathode material factory. It also secured lithium supply from Livent, a partner in Nemaska Lithium, which is expected to supply the material to GM.

Today, GM announced that it also signed a new agreement with Vale to secure a significant portion of its nickel sulfate from the upcoming new factory:

Vale Canada Limited, a subsidiary of Vale S.A., and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), announced today they have signed a term sheet for the long-term supply of battery grade nickel sulfate from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada. This agreement secures for GM a supply of nickel sulfate from a U.S. free-trade partner to support its fast-growing EV production needs in North America.

Under the agreement, Vale will supply up to 25,000 metric tons per year of battery-grade nickel sulfate. GM confirmed that the material will be used to support its ambitious ramp-up in electric vehicle production.

The fact that the critical battery material is going to come from North America is also going to help GM secure the full new tax credit for EVs in the US.

Vale is also a top supplier to Tesla, who has been known to be poking around Quebec’s battery valley lately.

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