LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP will hold on to the Australian nickel operations it previously put up for sale, while Rio Tinto is working on copper and lithium projects as the mining industry bets on demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The biggest mining companies say they are well positioned to provide the metals needed for the shift to EV technology, although they acknowledge the political risks and environmental issues in some of the countries where the best supplies are found.
Nickel is in demand to allow cars to travel further on a single charge. Using more nickel also cuts costs by reducing the use of expensive cobalt, a mainstay of current EV batteries.
Western Australia is rich in nickel sulphides which can be chemically processed into sulphate, prompting BHP to retain its Nickel West operations after several attempts to sell the business.
“Developments such as climate change and dramatic shifts in technology present both challenges and opportunities,” CEO Andrew Mackenzie told the BAML mining conference in Barcelona, that was broadcast over the Internet.
For the rest of this article: https://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFL4N22Q1VI