BHP thinks big on nickel after Musk dangles supply contract – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – October 13, 2020)

BHP fanned speculation that it is closing in on an off-take deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla after moving to boost nickel production while reducing carbon emissions in Western Australia.

Eddy Haegel, the boss of BHP’s reborn Nickel West business, said it would continue to acquire prospective nickel tenements in WA after investing in new and existing mines and boosting processing capacity.

Nickel West has also started commissioning work at its delayed nickel sulphate plant at Kwinana, south of Perth, as it doubles up on the battery metal.

Mr Haegel told the Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, where nickel producers have attracted almost as much attention as gold miners, that Nickel West wanted to be bigger.

He also did little to hose down reports that Tesla and BHP are close to a nickel deal by referencing the electric car maker’s recent appeal to suppliers.

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