Automotive company Stellantis has reached an offtake deal with Kuniko for the supply of nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate from its Norwegian projects, for nine years.

The agreement will see Stellantis buying 35% of future production from the projects.

Additionally, the company agreed to acquire a 19.99% stake in Kuniko for €5m and will also have the power to nominate one Kuniko board member.

Kuniko will use the funds from Stellantis to advance its brownfield and greenfield battery metals exploration projects, including nickel, cobalt and copper in Norway.

The deal is subject to the fulfilment of customary closing conditions such as regulatory clearance.

Kuniko CEO Antony Beckmand said: “This strategic partnership with Stellantis promotes sustainable European battery value chain solutions and validates the potential of our battery metals project portfolio in Norway.

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“Together with Stellantis, we eagerly anticipate working hand in hand to achieve exploration success, move towards production, and make meaningful contributions to the growth and advancement of the European battery industry.”

Some of Kuniko’s projects in Norway include the Skuterud, Ringerike and Trøndelag projects.

The Skuterud project is claimed to have been producing cobalt for a very long time. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, the mine produced more than one million tonnes of cobalt.

Ringerike is located 15km from the Skuterud project and includes 360km of exploration area, prospective of nickel, copper and cobalt.

Trøndelag is also a historically important copper-producing area, with mines such as the Undal-Nyberget project, Vågå and Gullklumpan projects.

Stellantis’ investment is part of its Dare Forward 2030 strategy, under which it targets 50% of passenger car and light-duty truck sales in the US and 100% of passenger car sales in Europe to be battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2030.

The company also plans to become a carbon net-zero company by 2038, with “single-digit percentage compensation of remaining emissions”. 

Stellantis chief purchasing and supply chain officer Maxime Picat said: “We are on an aggressive path to securing a holistic portfolio of raw materials needed to meet our Dare Forward 2030 electrification targets.

“With Kuniko, we are adding another lever to support our European battery needs with a local and environmentally conscious solution from its Norwegian projects.”

The automotive company has been forging alliances with various companies, including Alliance Nickel, McEwen Copper, Terrafame, Vulcan Energy, Element 25 and Controlled Thermal Resources, to support a stable supply of battery materials.