BHP to supply greener Australian nickel to Tesla (Reuters – July 22, 2021)

MELBOURNE July 22 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Group (BHP.AX) said on Thursday it signed a nickel supply agreement with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and will work with the electric carmaker on lowering carbon emissions in the battery supply chain.

Tesla said in June it expects to spend more than $1 billion a year on battery raw materials from Australia given the country’s reliable mining industry and responsible production practices. read more

Western automakers are also seeking to diversify supply chains to lessen their dependence on China, in line with a U.S. policy to rely on allies to supply metals for electric vehicles.

BHP’s nickel division accounts for less than 1% of its earnings, which are dominated by iron ore. Shares in the miner were up 3% at A$51.37 by 0454 GMT.

BHP said the metal will be supplied from its Nickel West operation in Western Australia, which is set to add nickel sulphate – a key battery chemical, and one that has much higher margins than nickel metal – in the September quarter. Nickel makes batteries energy-dense, allowing cars to run further on a single charge.

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