HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s Terrafame nickel mine is planning to start producing material for electric vehicle batteries by 2020, the company said on Friday, after securing $200 million more in funding from commodities trader Trafigura Group.
Trafigura, which will also increase its nickel and cobalt sulphides offtake agreement with Terraframe, is providing the funds with Galena Asset Management and Nordic fund Sampo Plc.
“The new funding package … is a significant factor enabling Terrafame to move from established industrial operations to investing in new business opportunities associated with the electric vehicle battery segment,” Trafigura said in a statement on Friday.
With the electric vehicle revolution gaining speed, miners and metals traders are racing to shore up supply deals with battery makers. This deal will help Trafigura compete on the trading side with rival mining and trading giant Glencore that already dominates cobalt supplies with its assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Terraframe, formerly known as Talvivaara, has been under government control since 2015 after years of losses and production problems. It returned to profit last year and commodities trader Trafigura agreed in February to take a stake and help to ramp up production.