Russia’s Nornickel in talks to supply materials for BASF’s battery plans (Reuters U.S. – June 27, 2017)

Russia’s mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) (GMKN.MM) is in talks with German chemicals firm BASF (BASFn.DE) to supply raw materials needed in the process for making lithium-ion batteries in Europe in the future, they said on Tuesday.

The talks between BASF and Nornickel, the world’s second largest nickel producer and a major cobalt producer, highlight the burgeoning market for metals needed for lithium-ion batteries production as the car industry’s push towards electric vehicles gathers pace.

Nornickel and BASF said in a joint statement the talks covered “cooperation to set the foundation to supply battery cell producers for electric vehicles in Europe with regionally produced cathode materials.”

BASF intended to invest up to 400 million euro ($452 million) as a first step to build production plants for cathode materials in Europe, the statement said.

Through the prospective agreement, BASF would receive the raw materials from the Nornickel’s metal refinery in Harjavalta, Finland. Nornickel would also provide a supply of nickel and cobalt feedstock from its Russian mines at market prices.

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