Tesla in talks to obtain Canadian nickel through Brazilian miner Vale S.A.

Vale Sudbury nickel mine
Vale's Totten nickel-copper-precious metals mine in Sudbury, Ontario /Vale

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk urged miners to produce more low-carbon nickel for its electric vehicle batteries, the company is in talks with a Brazilian mining firm to obtain nickel from its operations in Canada.

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Vale S.A.,  a multinational corporation and the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world, has facilities in Ontario, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mark Travers, Vale’s executive director of base metals, confirmed to Reuters Vale has had preliminary discussions with the automaker around their environmentally friendly nickel.

“So that is the nature of the discussions I’m sure that is occurring across the industry right now and, without specifically commenting on Tesla, those are the conversations we are having right now,” he said.

The company is likely on Tesla’s radar due to its recent efforts to spend about $2 billion on low-carbon projects. Some of these initiatives include electric work vehicles for underground operations, fuel switching, and heat recovery.

Vale isn’t the only mining company with a Canadian connection that has drawn the attention of Musk and Tesla. Giga Metals, based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada Nickel Co. have also both had discussions with Tesla about supplying nickel to the automaker.

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