BHP has signed an agreement with electric vehicle (EV) and battery storage systems manufacturer Tesla for the supply of nickel.

Tesla will receive nickel, which is a key metal used to make EV car batteries, from the BHP Nickel West project in Western Australia.

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Nickel West is a fully integrated mine-to-market nickel business. It employs more than 2,500 people.

Moreover, the two parties agreed to collaborate to make the battery supply chain more sustainable by focusing on end-to-end raw material traceability using blockchain.

The partners will also focus on technical exchange for the production of battery raw materials and promote the importance of sustainability in the resources sector.

BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said: “Demand for nickel in batteries is estimated to grow by over 500% over the next decade, in large part to support the world’s rising demand for electric vehicles.”

The company will also team up with Tesla on energy storage solutions. The scope of work includes identifying opportunities to lower carbon emissions in their respective operations using clean energy and battery storage.

BHP minerals Australia president Edgar Basto said: “BHP produces some of the lowest carbon intensity nickel in the world, and we are on the pathway to net-zero at our operations. Sustainable, reliable production of quality nickel will be essential to meeting demand from sustainable energy producers like Tesla.

“The investments we have made in our assets and our pursuit of commodities like nickel will help support global decarbonisation and position us to generate long-term value for our business.”