A proposed Talon Metals plant in Mercer County, North Dakota that will supply Tesla with battery-grade nickel has received close to $115 million in federal funding. The facility was one of 21 projects announced by President Joe Biden as part of the $2.8 billion federal infrastructure package on Wednesday
The $114,846,344 in funding would cover around one-third of the $433 million needed to build the plant.
According to Talon Metals the planned plant would bring in iron ore by train, where the material would then be turned into battery-grade nickel and iron. The company would then, in turn, sell the battery-grade nickel and iron to Tesla.
The company did not confirm if it would sell to other North American automakers.
Talon Metals is currently negotiating to acquire a plot of land in Mercer County for the facility. The company confirmed that it would source the iron ore from its Tamarack Mine in central Minnesota.
At the announcement, federal and state officials noted the importance of the plant to the local community.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgam said this in a statement:
By increasing domestic production of nickel and other battery minerals and reducing our reliance on foreign sources, we can strengthen our economy, our communities and our national security while continuing to grow North Dakota’s status as a powerhouse for the nation.
Tesla did not comment on the announcement but the automaker signed a six-year agreement with Talon back in January for 75,000 metric tonnes of battery-grade nickel.
According to a description of the project published by the U.S. Department of Energy it will produce nickel, copper, cobalt and iron in nickel and copper concentrates for multiple battery chemistries.