Nickel mine developer has major commitment from Tesla


TAMARACK, Minn. (AP) — The company that plans to develop a nickel mine in northeast Minnesota has entered into a major supply deal with electric vehicle maker Tesla.

Tesla has committed to buying 75,000 metric tons of nickel concentrate over six years from Talon Metals’ planned Tamarack mine, located about 80 kilometers west of Duluth. Talon hopes to open the mine by January 2026, but has not yet started the permitting process.

Nickel is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries.

“This agreement is the start of an innovative partnership between Tesla and Talon for the responsible production of battery materials directly from the mine to the battery cathode,” Talon CEO Henri van Rooyen said in a statement.

Tesla would claim more than half of the mine’s nickel concentrate output, which would be further refined before it could be used to make batteries, the Star Tribune reported.

“The Talon team has taken an innovative approach to the discovery, development and production of battery materials, including permanent carbon storage for mining operations,” said Drew Baglino, senior vice president of Tesla’s powertrain and energy engineering, in a statement.

Talon is developing a system that would capture CO2 from the air and store it permanently in the mine’s waste rock.

“Responsible sourcing of battery materials has long been a priority for Tesla,” Baglino said, “and this project promises to accelerate the production of sustainable energy products in North America.”

Tesla’s deal with Talon is its first for nickel in the United States.

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