(Bloomberg Businessweek) — General Motors is trying to speed ahead in the race for metals underpinning the industry’s shift to electric cars. The US automaker is competing for a stake in Vale’s base metals unit, people familiar with the matter said this month. A deal may give GM access to the Brazilian mining giant’s copper and nickel resources that are key to making EV batteries.
GM has made several such wagers recently, buying equity while rivals mostly sign supply deals. Last month, it bought a $650 million stake in Lithium Americas to help develop Nevada’s Thacker Pass mine, which may support output of as many as 1 million EVs a year.
In October, GM invested $69 million in Australia’s Queensland Pacific Metals, a producer of nickel and cobalt. The moves are strategic bets to secure supplies that are getting increasingly sought-after.
“We’ll continue to work with many people in the industry, especially in lithium and the other critical minerals,” CEO Mary Barra said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York on Thursday. “I think we’ll be positioned to have a competitive advantage.”
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