Chinese nickel and stainless-steel producer Tsingshan Holding Group has agreed to supply 100,000mt of nickel matte to Huayou Cobalt and CNGR Advanced Material per year as electric vehicle (EV) battery raw material.
According to media reports, the company will provide 60,000mt of nickel to Huayou and 40,000mt to CNGR annually, beginning October 2021. Tsingshan is also investing $850mn in a new energy vehicles project.
The company also plans to raise its nickel production to around 600,000mt this year, 850,000mt in 2022, and 1.1mn mt in 2023. The company produced 330,000mt of the metal in 2019 but its 2020 output has not been disclosed yet.
The company also stated that it will adjust volumes as per market demand and prices for both nickel matte and nickel pig iron, which is used to make stainless-steel.
While many companies are betting on nickel as a raw material for EV batteries, Tesla founder Elon Musk recently stated that his company is switching to iron cathodes due to high prices and a tight supply of the refined nickel.