GM Seeking Stake In Vale’s Base Metals Unit1
As previously reported by GM Authority back in November 2022, General Motors signed an agreement with Vale Canada Limited, a Canadian mining subsidiary of Vale S.A., to provide a continuous supply of nickel sulfate for Ultium battery and Ultium Drive motor production. Now, the Detroit-based automaker is looking to purchase a share in Vale’s new base metals unit.
According to a report from Bloomberg, GM has advanced to the second round of bidding for a minority stake in the business. This development comes as Vale separates the base metals unit from its other operations, and is actively looking for a new partner during the first half of the 2023 calendar year.
It’s worth noting that Vale is already a direct supplier of nickel for Tesla batteries.
As aforementioned, GM and Vale signed an agreement late last year to where Vale will provide the equivalent of 25,000 metric tons per year of the material. This amount of nickel sulfate is sufficient to support the production of roughly 350,000 electric vehicles per year. Distribution is expected to begin in the second half of 2026.
General Motors has been signing a slew of EV-related agreements as of late. Per GM Authority coverage, the Detroit-based automaker signed a joint investment with Lithium Americas to mine the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada for lithium. With pending access to the largest known source of lithium in the U.S. – and the third largest in the world – GM is set to invest $650 million into Lithium Americas to facilitate the necessary operations to mine the Thacker Pass mine. Additionally, GM will receive exclusive access to Phase 1 production, and will be the first company to be offered Phase 2 production. Thanks this investment, Lithium Americas forecasts that this project will create 1,500 jobs in total – 1,000 jobs in constriction and 500 in operations.
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This will reduce dependency on foreign mines for lithium and other metals. The final goal is reduction of battery prices which is the most expensive “part” in any electric vehicle or energy storage sysyem.