Stellantis forges nickel-cobalt alliance
Metal Tech News - April 28, 2023
Last updated 4/28/2023 at 2:21pm
Global automaker signs deal to buy EV battery metals from future mine.
In a deal that shows that global automakers need more battery materials to meet their electric vehicle ambitions than is currently available, Stellantis has signed a binding offtake agreement for nickel and cobalt from a Western Australia mine that has yet to be developed and is investing directly into the junior mining company behind the development project.
Under the deal, Stellantis has agreed to purchase 170,000 tons of nickel sulfate and 12,000 tons of cobalt sulfate produced from a future mine at Alliance Nickel Ltd.'s (formerly GME Resources Ltd.) NiWest project over five years, representing roughly 40% of these metals to be produced at the Western Australia operation.
This binding agreement, which solidifies a preliminary deal struck last year, will provide Stellantis with key metals for the lithium-ion batteries that will power EVs to be manufactured by Alfa Romeo, Citroën, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, and other brands under the Stellantis banner.
Under its Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis has set the ambitious goal of transitioning 100% of its European and half of its North American passenger car and truck sales to electric models by the end of the decade.
"The commitments of Dare Forward 2030 and our industry-leading decarbonization drive are built on the foundation of a guaranteed supply of key materials for our battery electric vehicles," said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. "The partnership with Alliance Nickel is an important element of our plan to provide clean, safe and affordable mobility for people throughout the world."
Stellantis' efforts to secure the metals needed for its Dare Forward 2030 strategy include deals with Controlled Thermal Resources Ltd., Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd., Element 25 Ltd., and McEwen Copper.
In addition to securing a guaranteed buyer for a large portion of the metals to be produced at NiWest, Alliance has gained a world-class investor. In parallel with the offtake agreement, Stellantis is investing US$10 million (AU$15 million) in Alliance, which will result in the global automaker owning an 11.5% stake in the junior and the right to nominate one director to the Alliance board.
"The binding agreements with Stellantis, one of the world's leading and most forward-thinking vehicle manufacturers, are transformative for the future of Alliance," said Alliance Nickel Managing Director and CEO Paul Kopejtka. "It validates our development strategy for the NiWest nickel-cobalt project and opens critical new funding options by securing a premier Tier 1 cornerstone customer and investor."
Last year, Alliance updated a prefeasibility study that details a future mine at NiWest that would produce 86,000 metric tons of nickel sulfate and 6,600 metric tons of cobalt sulfate annually over the first 15 years of operation.
The investment by Stellantis will go toward a definitive feasibility study for this nickel-cobalt mining operation, which is slated for completion toward the end of this year.