As GM Authority has extensively covered in the past, General Motors has been hard at work signing agreements and making investments to source and secure the materials needed to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. Now, The General, along with other major automakers, will be attending a mining conference circuit in Hollywood, Florida this week to find long-term partners for battery supplies.
According to a report from Bloomberg, it’s unusual to see major end-users of raw commodities, like automakers, to attend mining conferences. However, the publication notes that the high demand for the necessary raw materials to manufacture electric vehicles has driven automakers to attend such conferences.
“There’s an urgency to it now that wasn’t there a few years ago,” BMO Capital Markets co-head of global metals and mining business Ilan Bahar said in an interview. “If three or four years ago we had invited car companies to our conference, they probably wouldn’t have made it a priority.”
“We’ve seen investments they’ve made directly in mining companies, primarily to secure offtake,” Bahar said. “The nature and capital structure of how people are investing is evolving.”
Speaking of investments into mining companies, the Detroit-based automaker signed a $650 million joint investment with Lithium Americas to develop the Tracker Pass mine in Nevada for lithium extraction back in January 2023. Additionally, GM is also seeking to purchase a share in Vale S.A.’s new base metals unit following an agreement with Vale Canada Limited, a Canadian mining subsidiary of Vale S.A. This agreement stipulates that Vale will serve as a supplier of battery-grade nickel sulfate from Vale’s proposed plant in Bécancour, Québec.
With a goal of offering 30 EVs worldwide by 2025, as well as qualifying for Federal tax credits, it comes as little surprise that General Motors has been investing heavily into mining companies as an effort to secure reliable battery mineral supply chains.