Battery manufacturers and automakers are increasingly looking to invest in nickel projects to secure supply and the resurgent West Australian sector stands to benefit, according to Mincor Resources managing director David Southam.
Talks between miner BHP and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla over a potential nickel deal were last week reported by Bloomberg.
Both parties declined to comment but it hasn’t stopped the speculation being a key point of discussion at the annual Diggers and Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan even referenced the potential talks in his keynote address and suggested manufacturers would increasingly look to secure supplies of battery materials from the state.
“This won’t be a temporary trend, this is going be a fundamental shift in the way business is done,” McGowan said. Southam, whose company plans to supply nickel to BHP’s Kambalda concentrator, said while he didn’t know whether talks were occurring between Tesla and BHP, “I do know that Tesla have looked to go further upstream”.
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