Canadian firm Giga Metals, and American company Tesla, the world’s most valuable car company by market cap, are reportedly discussing the development of a large mine.
The move would give the electric carmaker access to low-carbon nickel for its batteries, Reuters reported citing three anonymous sources who are familiar with the matter.
Nickel is a key ingredient in the batteries that are used to power electric vehicles (EVs).
Besides its goal to reduce pollution from driving, Tesla is also working towards reducing its own carbon footprint.
Meanwhile, the low carbon nickel plans of Giga Metals involve turning waste from its own operations into “cement type” rock using CO2 in the atmosphere and using hydropower.
Giga Metals President Martin Vydra declined to comment about any talks with Tesla.
The news agency quoted Vydra as stating: “Giga is actively engaged, and has been for some time, with automakers regarding our ability to produce carbon neutral nickel.
“The cost of developing our project, excluding bringing hydroelectric power to the site, will be less than $1bn.”
Giga Metals-owned Turnagain mine in British Columbia has measured and indicated resources of 2.36 million tonnes (Mt) of nickel and 141,000t of cobalt.
The Canadian company holds 100% ownership of the Turnagain project.
Turnagain is reportedly among the largest undeveloped sulphide nickel projects in the world, with metallurgical test work showing significant deposits of high-quality nickel that can be used in lithium-ion batteries, with the site also holding cobalt, another critical element in battery production.
Last week, Tesla became a member of the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA) to improve the artisanal mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Last month, Giga Metals responded to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s call for sustainably sourced nickel, claiming that Canadian projects – and Giga’s own Turnagain project – are ideal sources of environmentally-responsible nickel for the electric vehicle producer.
In June, Tesla and commodities trader and miner Glencore signed a deal, pursuant to which Tesla will buy cobalt from Glencore. The cobalt will be supplied from the DRC, where the commodities miner has been operating a copper mine in the Katanga region since 2008.